Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

U.S. Agricultural Exports in Fiscal Year 2023 Forecast at $193.5 Billion, Imports at $197.0 Billion

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Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: August 2022

U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year (FY) 2023 are projected at $193.5 billion, down $2.5 billion from the revised forecast for FY 2022. This decrease is primarily driven by lower exports of cotton, beef, and sorghum that are partially offset by higher exports of soybeans and horticultural products. Cotton exports are forecast down $1.8 billion due to drought-slashed exportable volumes. Beef exports are forecast down $1.1 billion due to tight U.S. supplies. Overall livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are projected at $41.1 billion, down $1.5 billion. Sorghum exports are forecast at $2.0 billion, down $700 million, on sharply lower exportable supplies. Total grain and feed exports are forecast down $1.3 billion to $46.5 billion; in addition to sorghum, wheat exports are forecast down $300 million on lower unit values. Soybean exports are forecast up $2.2 billion to a record $35.2 billion on higher prices. Horticulture exports are raised $400 million to $39.5 billion as higher exports of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables more than offset a decline in tree nut exports. Ethanol exports are unchanged at $4.2 billion. Agricultural exports to China are forecast at $36.0 billion, unchanged from FY 2022, as higher soybean exports offset lower cotton and sorghum prospects. Agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico are forecast at $28.5 billion each, also unchanged from FY 2022.

For FY 2022, the export estimate of a record $196.0 billion represents an increase of $5.0 billion from May’s projection, mainly due to increases in livestock, poultry, and dairy exports.

In FY 2023, total agricultural imports are expected to increase $5.0 billion above the FY 2022 forecast—to $197.0 billion—due to higher imports of grains and feed products, horticultural products, and sugar and tropical products. Total imports in FY 2022 are expected to be $11.5 billion more than the May forecast, and $28.7 billion more than FY 2021. If realized, the 18-percent jump in import values in FY 2022 would be the largest year-over-year percentage increase since FY 2011. The historically large increase from FY 2021 to FY 2022 is a product of the unwavering upward trend of import volumes in the face of increasing unit values for nearly every agricultural import product group.

The forecasts in this report are based on policies in effect at the time of the August 12, 2022, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) release, and the U.S. production forecasts thereof.