Global agricultural trade, valued at about $1 trillion in 2016, has been rising about 3.6 percent per year since 1995, facilitated by technological change and productivity gains, as well as by trade liberalization and income growth. In addition, global trade patterns have shifted in favor of emerging economies.  Although the United States and the European Union remained the largest exporters and importers of agricultural products, five countries—Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia —have emerged as important traders in the global agricultural market, and, in some cases, as key trading partners to the U.S.

ERS economists conduct research and analysis on the economies, agricultural sectors, and policies of U.S. key trading partners. ERS also assesses environmental, food safety, and food security challenges confronting countries and regions in an increasingly global agricultural market, as well as the economic opportunities the market provides.

Country-specific reports, information, and data are available on Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico, and South Korea.

ERS’s Outputs on International Trade and Policies

ERS data products relating to international trade include:

  • Agricultural Exchange Rate Data Set The dataset contains annual and monthly data on exchange rates important to U.S. agriculture. It includes both nominal and real exchange rates for 80 countries (plus the European Union), as well as real trade-weighted exchange rate indexes for many commodities and aggregations.
  • International Macroeconomic Dataset The dataset provides data from 1969 through 2020 for real (adjusted for inflation) gross domestic product (GDP), population, real exchange rates, and other variables for the 190 countries and 34 regions that are most important for U.S. agricultural trade.
  • International Baseline Dataset The data provide projections on supply, demand, and trade for major agricultural commodities for selected countries.These projections give details on various countries supporting USDA’s 10-year agricultural baseline projections.

Recent reports on international trade include: