Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

FY 2020 U.S. Agricultural Exports Forecast at $136.5 Billion; Imports at $130.2 Billion

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Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: May 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a shock to world economies that will cause an unusually high level of uncertainty for the foreseeable future. U.S. agricultural exports in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 are projected at $136.5 billion, down $3.0 billion from the February forecast, primarily due to reductions in bulk commodities including soybeans, cotton, corn, and wheat. Projections for soybean exports are reduced $1.9 billion from the previous estimate to $16.5 billion for FY 2020 due in part to increasingly competitive Brazilian exports. Cotton exports are forecast down $1.0 billion on lower volumes and unit values as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced foreign demand. Corn exports are projected at $8.0 billion, down $500 million on lower unit values, which are pressured by ample exportable supplies and weak domestic use for fuel ethanol. The forecast for wheat exports is down $300 million to $6.1 billion, as larger global supplies and uncompetitive U.S. pricing reduce prospective volume. Livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are unchanged from the February projection of $32.4 billion, as stronger demand for pork and dairy products offsets a decline for beef and poultry products. The forecast for horticultural exports is unchanged at $35.5 billion.

U.S. agricultural imports in FY 2020 are projected at $130.2 billion, down $2.3 billion from the February forecast. This decline is primarily driven by expected decreases in imports of horticultural products such as beer, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables.

The forecasts in the Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: May 2020 report are based on policies in effect at the time of the May 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) release.

Last updated: Monday, June 01, 2020

For more information, contact: Bart Kenner