Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

Export Forecast for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Up $500 Million to $139.5 Billion; Imports at $132.5 Billion

The following interactive content provides highlights from the:

Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: February 2020

U.S. agricultural exports in FY 2020 are projected at $139.5 billion, up $500 million from the November forecast

  • The increase in the export forecast is due largely to increases in the export forecasts for soybeans, wheat, and poultry.
  • Forecast soybean exports are up $400 million to $18.4 billion, driven by larger volumes that more than offset lower unit values resulting largely from record soybean production in Brazil.
  • The forecast for oilseed and oilseed product exports is unchanged from the November forecast at $27.1 billion, as the increase in the soybean export forecast is offset by a $300 million decline in the forecast for soybean meal exports to $4.3 billion due to lower unit values.
  • Grain and feed exports are forecast at $29.7 billion (up $200 million from the November forecast), as higher wheat and rice exports more than offset a decline in corn exports.
  • Livestock, dairy, and poultry exports are forecast at $32.4 billion (up $500 million from the November projection) as stronger demand for poultry and poultry products, dairy, and variety meats more than offsets declines for beef.
  • The export forecast for horticultural products is unchanged at $35.5 billion.

U.S. agricultural imports in FY 2020 are forecast at $132.5 billion, up $500 million from the November forecast

  • The forecast level of imports for FY 2020 is $1.6 billion more than the total value of imports recorded in FY 2019.
  • The import forecast for horticultural products is increased by $300 million from the previous forecast to $66.3 billion. The import forecasts for fresh fruit and for fresh vegetable are raised by $300 million and $100 million, respectively, from the November forecast, while the forecasts for nuts and processed fruit are adjusted downward by $100 million each.
  • The import forecast for sugar and tropical products is $23.4 billion, unchanged in total from the November forecast; this amount is $300 million more than the recorded level of sugar and tropical product imports in FY 2019.
  • The import forecast for sweeteners and sweetener products is increased by $100 million due to strong imports reported in the first quarter of FY 2020, but that increase is countered by a $100 million downward adjustment in coffee imports,
  • Total oilseeds and oilseed product imports for FY 2020 are forecast at $9.5 billion, a $100 million increase from November, due to higher volumes of vegetable oil shipments.
  • Livestock, poultry and dairy imports are forecast at $17.6 billion, $100 million less than in the November forecast, due to a continued trend of reduced imports of pork.

Forecast exports to China are up $3.0 billion from the November forecast due to expected increases from the Phase One Agreement; this expectation is tempered, however, by uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak

  • U.S. exports to China are forecast at $14.0 billion, in part based on higher projected volumes for soybeans.
  • Forecast exports to Hong Kong are reduced by $600 million to $3.0 billion due to lower-than-expected shipments of consumer-oriented products, especially tree nuts, beef, and prepared food.
  • Exports to Japan are lowered $500 million to $12.0 billion from the previous forecast on reduced prospects for corn.
  • The export forecast for Peru is reduced by $300 million to $800 million on weak corn sales and strong competition from Argentina.
  • U.S. exports to the European Union are forecast at $12.3 billion, which is $1.0 billion lower than the November projection due to reduced demand for soybean, soybean meal, and feeds and fodders.
  • The export forecast for Africa is up $100 million to $4.4 billion due to higher wheat sales to Nigeria.
  • The export forecast for the Middle East is unchanged, as higher exports to Turkey are offset by reductions in Saudi Arabia.

A $500 million increase from the November import forecast is due to growth in demand for horticultural products from the Americas

  • The forecast for imports from Mexico is increased by $300 million from the November forecast to $28.3 billion; for imports from Canada, the forecast is increased by $100 million to $23.2 billion.
  • South America has a forecast increase of $100 million to $14.7 billion which is attributed to Peruvian imports of fresh fruits.
  • The forecast levels of imports from Asia, Oceania, Africa, the European Union, and the Middle East are all unchanged.

Last updated: Monday, March 09, 2020

For more information, contact: Bart Kenner