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Farm exports projected to break records in 2021

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts that fiscal year 2021 will be a great year for American farm exports. In the recent quarterly agricultural trade forecast, the USDA said farm exports will total a record-breaking $164 billion, the highest total in U.S. history.

“U.S. agricultural trade has proven extraordinarily resilient in the face of a global pandemic and economic contraction,” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “It’s clear that trade remains a critical engine powering the agricultural economy and the U.S. economy as a whole.”

The report projects an increase of $7 billion in trade since the February forecast. The USDA said key factors include record export volumes for several commodities, including corn, soybeans, livestock, poultry, and dairy products. The continued rise in demand from China for American agricultural products is another major influence, with the predicted exports to China totaling a historic $35 billion. Additionally, foreign demand for U.S. corn should stay strong through unfavorable crop prospects in Brazil and other South American countries, increasing projected export totals from $14 billion in February’s forecast to $17.2 billion. Livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are also projected to rise, and horticultural exports and processed tree nuts are the only two commodities projected to see a decline.