Economic Research Report No. (ERR-313) 45 pp

March 2023

U.S. Export Competitiveness in Select Crop Markets

The United States has historically been one of the largest exporters of agricultural crops in terms of volume and value. In recent decades, increased competition from countries, such as Argentina and Brazil, has threatened the current U.S. standing in the global arena. This study examines U.S. export competitiveness in terms of value of the top five crop commodity groups exported—corn, soybean products, cotton, wheat products, and tree nuts. These commodities are widely produced in the United States and represented 38 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports in 2021. This report broadly discusses the threats and opportunities to U.S. competitiveness, current trade agreements, and world events that impacted global markets. For instance, one threat remains the U.S. lack of free trade agreements (FTA) from 2012 to 2020 while other competitors engaged in FTAs to acquire preferential access to markets.The report also includes commodity-specific analysis using export shares and trade indices for each of the five crop groups. ERS researchers provide a detailed overview of the U.S. export position for each commodity, a list of the top five competitors, exports-to-production ratios over time, and a history of significant changes within each market, such as the entry of a new competitor or reductions in exports to a particular country.

Keywords: corn, soybeans, cotton, wheat, tree nuts, U.S. agricultural exports

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