Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

FY 2019 Export Forecast Remains at $141.5 Billion; Imports Forecast Rise to $128.0 Billion

U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal 2019 are projected to not change from last FY 2019 forecast

  • Fiscal 2019 agricultural exports are projected at $141.5 billion, down $1.9 billion from fiscal year 2018 and unchanged from the August 2018 forecast, largely due to decreases in soybeans and cotton.
  • Soybean export volumes are down because of declining Chinese purchases from the United States as a result of trade tensions, and export value is also down, in part due to a record U.S. crop that continues to pressure soybean prices lower.
  • Oilseed and products exports are down $100 million from the November forecast to $27.8 billion, primarily due to lower soybean volumes.
  • Grain and feed exports are forecast down $100 million to $33.7 billion following a projected decrease in coarse grain exports from last quarters forecast.
  • Livestock, dairy, and poultry exports are raised $300 million to $30.4 billion, largely due to gains in beef, pork, poultry, and dairy.
  • Horticultural products are unchanged at $35.3 billion.

U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at $128.0 billion in FY 2019, up $1.0 billion from November’s FY 2019 forecast

  • Agricultural imports in fiscal year 2019 are forecast to increase to $128.0 billion, $1.0 billion above the November forecast and $500 million above the total value of imports in fiscal year 2018.
  • Horticultural product imports are increased $1.1 billion from the previous forecast in fiscal year 2019 to $63.2 billion. Processed fruit and processed vegetables imports are each raised $100 million from the November forecast due to a combination of increased imports and higher unit values.
  • U.S. imports of sugar and tropical products are forecast at $23.5 billion in fiscal year 2019, a $300 million downward adjustment from the previous forecast and $500 million above fiscal year 2018.
  • Cocoa and products are expected to be worth $4.7 billion, $100 million below the last forecast. These value decreases are due to lower expected imports of cocoa.
  • Imports of livestock, dairy, and poultry products in fiscal year 2019 are forecast up $100 million, compared to the November forecast, to $17.1 billion. Beef and pork imports are both raised $100 million on a marginal increase in prices. Imports of cattle and calves are raised by $100 million as demand growth supports increased prices.
  • Imports of grains and feed products are forecast to be $300 million higher than the previous forecast and to equal $12.8 billion due to projected increases in U.S. demand for bulk items.
  • Total oilseeds and oilseed products imports were adjusted downward by $100 million due to reduced soybean imports.

Canada is expected to be the top destination market for U.S. agricultural exports in FY 2019; China falls to fifth place behind Mexico, the EU, and Japan

  • The forecast for exports to China is unchanged at $9.0 billion, the lowest since fiscal 2007, as trade tensions continue to limit U.S. export opportunities for many products, most notably soybeans.
  • The forecast for South Korea is up $200 million to $8.4 billion as demand for beef, pork, and corn is expected to strengthen. Exports to Japan are unchanged at $38.4 billion.
  • The forecasts for Canada and Mexico are unchanged from November at $21.5 billion and $19.7 billion, respectively. Reduced pork sales to Mexico offset higher corn and dairy shipments.
  • The forecast for the Dominican Republic is up $100 million due to strong corn sales.
  • Exports to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East are unchanged from November.

In FY 2019, Mexico is predicted to be the top U.S. agricultural supplier with the EU expected to become second

  • The forecast for imports from the Western Hemisphere is projected to increase by $800 million from the previous forecast, to an even higher $70.9 billion driven by Mexico’s increase of $300 million to $25.9 billion.
  • The forecast for the European Union is up $200 million to $24 billion driven by an increase of imports of horticulture, livestock and meats, and dairy products.
  • The forecast to Asia, Oceania, Africa, and the Middle East are unchanged.

Last updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

For more information contact: Kamron Daugherty