US Ag Exports, Imports Slowing

U.S. farm exports and imports are slowing, based on USDA’s latest projections. The final figures aren’t in yet for the fiscal year that ended last month, but USDA Economist Bart Kenner says farm exports will likely be down “$177.5 billion, which would be a ten percent decrease from fiscal year 2022.”

Kenner says U.S. exports have a ways to go to meet the projection; “Currently, we’re at $166 billion, so we’ve got $11.5 billion to go to make that forecast.”

That, after back-to-back record export years. But on the flip side, Kenner says farm imports are slowing. “We’re seeing a leveling off of agricultural import values. From 2020 to 2021, imports increased 14 percent. From 2021 to 2022, agricultural imports increased 19 percent. So far through 11 months of this fiscal year, compared to the first 11 months of last fiscal year, 2022 to 2023, agricultural imports have only increased one percent.”

That increase yielded a $14 billion agricultural trade deficit, which Kenner says is due more to declining export sales than foreign ag imports.