State Export Data

Although a State’s actual agricultural export value cannot be measured directly, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates State exports of total and selected commodities based on U.S. farm-cash-receipts data. State shares of U.S. farm receipts are updated annually in calculating State-level export values to foreign countries. ERS has discontinued updates of an alternative fiscal-year (October to September) series of State export estimates based on State and commodity shares of production, but continues to provide the historical estimates based on that methodology. The Documentation page describes both the current cash-receipts-based method and the discontinued production-based method.

The farm commodities and products for which State-level exports are estimated reflect the commodity coverage of published cash receipts calculated at the State and national levels. The commodity coverage for exports includes 24 categories, as well as aggregate estimates for animal products and plant products and total agricultural exports. Exports that do not have their own category are grouped into “Other livestock products” or “Other plant products.” The generally large export value of “Other plant products” is due to the number of processed agricultural products (such as confections and prepared foods) whose ingredients cannot easily be identified among the listed categories. This large group also includes sugar, essential oils, planting seeds, cocoa and coffee products, and beverages.

The files below provide the calendar-year (January to December) State export estimates using the new U.S. farm-receipts-based method starting in 2000, as well as the historical estimates using the former U.S. agricultural-production-based method for 1990-2010. All export values are calibrated so that the sum of State export estimates for a commodity category equals the total U.S. export value for that commodity.

State Trade by Country of Origin and Destination

There is not currently a cash-receipts-based method, as used for the State Exports estimates, that provides a similar estimate of foreign imports at the State level. To provide comparable information regarding both imports and exports for States, ERS relies on the Census Bureau’s State Data Series which includes the State of Origin of Movement (OM) Series and the State of Destination (SD) Series. As defined by the Census Bureau, the OM Series lists the “state from which the merchandise starts its journey to the port of export,” and the State of Destination (SD) Series, which is based on the U.S. State of Destination Code; defined as “the U.S. state, U.S. territory or U.S. possession where the merchandise is destined, as known at the time of entry summary filing.”

The State Data Series has known limitations but even in light of these limitations the series still provides the most reliable, comprehensive, and well-documented information for both exports and imports at the State level. One limitation of the State Data Series is the attribution of commodities to the State where they are consolidated for shipment, rather than to the State in which they are produced. As a result, larger export values and quantities are attributed to States such as Louisiana and New York where major export ports are located. Similarly, imports may be attributed to a State where merchandise is stored prior to distribution to other States for further processing and/or consumption. These distortions would be magnified if one were to calculate a trade balance using these data. Therefore, calculation of a trade balance using the State Trade Data product is discouraged.

A thorough comparison of the Census Bureau State Data Series and USDA Farm Production or Cash-Receipts Estimates can be found in the Documentation section for these products.

Data Set Last Updated Next Update
State Agricultural Exports, U.S. agricultural cash receipts-based estimates (Calendar years)
U.S. Agricultural Exports, Commodity detail by State [New series]: Calendar years 2000-2018 10/28/2019 10/23/2020
U.S. Agricultural Exports, State detail by commodity [New series]: Calendar years 2000-2018 10/28/2019 10/23/2020
State Agricultural Trade by Country of Origin and Destination (Fiscal quarters)
Top 5 U.S. Agricultural Export Commodities by State: Fiscal year 2020 9/30/2020
Top 5 U.S. Agricultural Import Commodities by State: Fiscal year 2020 9/30/2020

Last updated: Thursday, October 01, 2020

For more information, contact: Bart Kenner