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Agricultural share of exports hit high mark in 2021

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The value of all U.S. exports has grown at an average annual rate of six percent since 2002 and reached a record high of $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2021. The USDA says while the bulk of U.S. exports consists of industrial supplies and capital goods, agriculture’s share of total U.S. exports has steadily increased. Between fiscal years 2002 and 2021, the value of agricultural exports rose by an average of 11 percent every year, exceeding the overall rate of increase for the rest of American exports. In 2021, ag producers accounted for 12 percent of the total value, up from nine percent in 2002. Even as total U.S. exports dropped 12 percent when COVID-19 began in fiscal year 2020, ag exports stayed steady because of surging shipments of soybeans, corn, and pork to China. In 2021, total U.S. exports rebounded by 14 percent as global demand recovered and trade restrictions relaxed.

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