Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade

U.S. Agricultural Exports in Fiscal Year 2024 Forecast Unchanged at $170.5 Billion; Imports revised upwards to $202.5 Billion

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Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade: May 2024

U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year (FY) 2024 are projected at $170.5 billion, unchanged from the February forecast. Higher exports of livestock and dairy, as well as increased ethanol sales largely offset reductions in grains and feeds, oilseeds, and horticultural products. Overall livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are forecast $800 million higher to $38.5 billion, led by increases in dairy and beef. Dairy exports are forecast up $300 million to $8.0 billion due to higher prospects of cheese exports to Southeast Asia. Beef exports are raised $200 million as global demand remains firm. Ethanol exports are forecast at $4.0 billion, $400 million higher than the February outlook as competitive U.S. prices facilitate a record volume projection. Grain and feed exports are forecast at $37.6 billion, down $600 million from the previous projection, largely on lower prices for corn and wheat. Oilseed and products are forecast at $35.8 billion, down $400 million from the February forecast, primarily due to lower soybean exports as a result of increased competition from Brazil. Horticultural product exports are down $500 million to $39.0 billion on lower miscellaneous product shipments. Cotton exports are unchanged at $6.0 billion.

At $27.7 billion, China is projected to fall below Mexico and Canada as the third largest U.S. agricultural market. The export forecast for China is cut by $1.0 billion from the previous quarter largely due to continued strong competition on soybeans and corn. Exports to Mexico are forecast to rise by $300 million to $28.7 billion, whereas exports to Canada are forecast up $400 million to $28.4 billion, both record highs.

U.S. agricultural imports in FY 2024 are forecast at $202.5 billion, a $1.5-billion increase from the February projection that is predominantly driven by higher horticultural products as well as livestock and dairy imports. Horticultural product imports are forecast up $1.5 billion to $99.6 billion, led by increases in fresh fruits and vegetables. Livestock, poultry, and dairy imports are up $600 million to $28.7 billion, buoyed by higher dairy and livestock projections.

The forecasts in this report are based on policies in effect at the time of the May 10, 2024, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) release and the U.S. production forecasts therein.