Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

U.S. Agricultural Exports in Fiscal Year 2024 Forecast at $170.5 Billion; Imports at $201.0 Billion

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Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: February 2024

U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year (FY) 2024 are projected at $170.5 billion, up $1.0 billion from the November forecast. Exports of livestock and dairy, as well as grains and feeds, lead the increase, which more than offset reductions in oilseeds and products. As a group, livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are forecast up $1.4 billion to $37.7 billion. Beef exports are projected $700 million higher on tight domestic supplies and rising unit values. Pork exports are raised $600 million based on higher prices and robust shipments to North American markets. Dairy exports are up $500 million due to higher prices for key products. Overall grain and feed exports are projected at $38.2 billion, up $700 million from November, as higher exports of corn, sorghum, rice, and feeds and fodders more than offset moderately lower wheat exports. Oilseed and product exports are forecast at $36.2 billion, a $1.0-billion reduction from the previous quarter, almost entirely due to lower soybean volume and unit values resulting from increased South American competition. Cotton exports are forecast up $300 million to $6.0 billion on higher unit values. Horticultural product exports are unchanged at $39.5 billion. Ethanol exports are forecast at $3.6 billion, unchanged from the November outlook, as lower unit values offset robust shipment volumes. 

China is forecast to remain the largest market for U.S. agricultural exports at $28.7 billion, an $800-million reduction from the previous forecast, largely due to strong South American competition on soybeans and corn. Exports to Mexico are forecast to rise by $500 million to a record $28.4 billion, whereas exports to Canada are forecast up $300 million to $28.0 billion.

U.S. agricultural imports in FY 2024 are forecast at $201.0 billion, an increase of $1.0 billion from the November projection that is predominantly driven by higher beef imports, which are raised $1.2 billion to $10.1 billion. Tight U.S. supplies coupled with firm demand are expected to stimulate increased shipments of processing beef at higher unit values. 

The forecasts in this report are based on policies in effect at the time of the February 8, 2024, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) release and the U.S. production forecasts thereof.