The depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of U.S. agricultural trade partners contributed to the growth in U.S. agricultural exports since the early 2000s. When the dollar depreciates, U.S. agricultural exports tend to rise as they become cheaper in foreign currency terms, while periods of appreciation—such as 2009—tend to make U.S. goods more expensive and constrain exports. Between 2002 and 2011, the U.S. dollar depreciated 22 percent against the currencies of U.S. agricultural trade partners, while U.S. agricultural exports expanded by 156 percent. Since 2011, although the dollar has appreciated 7 percent, its value remains low relative to historical levels and U.S. agricultural exports have remained competitive. The U.S. dollar exchange rate index shown in the chart is based on the average exchange rate across countries, weighted by each country’s share of U.S. agricultural exports. This chart is based on data found in the ERS Agricultural Exchange Rate Data Set and Foreign Agricultural Trade of the United States.
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