USDA forecasts record $78 billion in ag exports for 2007
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has increased its agricultural export forecast to a record $78 billion for fiscal 2007.
'Projections show 2007 exports would be up $9.3 billion over last year, the second-largest increase on record, and the fourth year of back-to-back records,' said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns in a statement on Thursday.
Johanns noted that two-thirds of this increase is due to grain and oilseed sectors. 'Several trends are driving the rise in export value and keeping U.S. competitiveness strong, such as demand for corn due to increased ethanol production, reduced competition for wheat, and only moderate growth in South American oilseed production,' he said.
The USDA also projects record exports in livestock and horticultural products. Meat and poultry product exports are expected to increase $1.2 billion. Rising sales of processed products will push a $1.3 billion increase for horticultural exports.
USDA's Economic Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and World Agricultural Outlook Board generate the forecasts. A summary of the current forecast, 'Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade' is available online at http://www.ers.usda.gov or http://www.fas.usda.gov. The next quarterly report will be released on May 31.