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USDA Forecasts Record Farm Exports in FY 2021

On Wednesday, the USDA released its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade, a quarterly report from the Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Economic Research Service (ERS).  Today’s update includes highlights from the report, which was coordinated by Hui Jiang, Dylan Russell, and Adam Gerval.

The Outlook stated that, “U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year (FY) 2021 are projected at $164.0 billion, up $7.0 billion from the February forecast, led by increases in corn, soybeans, and livestock, poultry, and dairy products.

Corn exports are forecast $3.2 billion higher to $17.2 billion due to record volume and higher unit values, driven by strong demand and reduced competition. Soybean exports are projected up $1.5 billion to $28.9 billion as volumes are forecast at record levels and demand from China remains strong.

The Outlook also noted that, “Overall livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are projected to increase to $34.2 billion, $1.6 billion higher than the February projection, due to increases in the dairy, pork, and beef forecasts.”

Interactive summary and highlights of the May Outlook for U.S. Agricultural trade. USDA- Economic Research Service (May 26, 2021- http://go.usa.gov/xHpWN).

FAS-ERS pointed out that, “Exports for China are raised $3.5 billion from the February forecast to a record $35.0 billion due to record shipments of soybeans, corn, tree nuts, beef, wheat, and poultry products. China is forecast to remain the largest market for U.S. agricultural exports in FY 2021, followed by Canada and Mexico.”

Interactive summary and highlights of the May Outlook for U.S. Agricultural trade. USDA- Economic Research Service (May 26, 2021- http://go.usa.gov/xHpWN).

More narrowly, FAS-ERS pointed out that, “FY 2021 U.S. grain and feed exports are forecast at a record $41.2 billion, up $3.4 billion from the February forecast, driven by corn and sorghum. Corn exports are forecast at $17.2 billion, up $3.2 billion, reflecting the record volume and higher unit values. U.S. exports to countries in Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Western Hemisphere have been robust due to competitive prices and limited supplies from other exporters.

Foreign demand for U.S. corn is expected to remain strong and is supported by unfavorable crop prospects in South America, in particular for second crop corn in southern Brazil.

Sorghum exports are forecast at $2.4 billion, up $300 million on both higher unit values and volumes driven by demand from China.”

With respect to oilseeds, The Outlook stated that, “FY 2021 oilseed and product exports are forecast at a record $40.6 billion, up $2.3 billion from the February forecast. Soybeans account for the majority of the gains, as values are forecast up $1.5 billion to a record $28.9 billion. Soybean export volumes are forecast at record levels due to surging demand from China. Tight U.S. stocks are driving prices higher.”

Wednesday’s update added that, “The export forecast for China is raised $3.5 billion from February to a new record high of $35.0 billion. Six months into the fiscal year, U.S. shipments of soybeans, corn, tree nuts, beef, wheat, and chicken paws have remained at record levels, while total U.S. agricultural exports to China reached $22.2 billion, 179 percent higher than the same period last year. Outstanding sales of corn remain at unprecedented levels.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good

Keith Good is the social media manager for the farmdoc project at the University of Illinois. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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