AG EXPORTS SIZZLE ?EUR" FIRST HALF OF FISCAL YEAR AT RECORD PACE

May, 18, 2011  |  Today's News

Oklahoma Farm Report By Ron Hays

 

U.S. agricultural exports set a record high for the first six months of the federal fiscal year, with China topping the buyers with $15.1 billion in purchases.

 

U.S. farm exports from Oct. 1, 2010 through this March 31 reached $75 billion, according to a USDA announcement today (May 11) – a 27% increase over the same period a year ago. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “This puts us on track to reach the current USDA export forecast of $135.5 billion by the end of the year.”

 

March export numbers came in like a lion. "March was the highest-grossing month for U.S. agricultural exports ever. During that month alone, U.S. farmers and ranchers exported $13.3 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods. That's $407 million more than the previous record set in November 2010.

 

China accounted for nearly 20% of all U.S. agricultural exports. Canada was the second-largest market.

 

"Both the value and volume of exports rose in the first half of the year, with the volume of bulk shipments up 5% from last year. Wheat and cotton volumes were especially robust, with increases of 64% and 44%, respectively,” Vilsack said.

 

The new export sales record demonstrated, he said, “that, once again, America's farmers and ranchers are helping lead the way to recovery from the worst economic recession in decades.” More than 1 million jobs in the U.S. depend of its farm exports, he noted. Farm exports will be a key contributor to building an economy that continues to grow, innovate and out-compete the rest of the world.

 

As expected, China is our top export market. With $15.1 billion in farm exports, China accounted for nearly 20% of all U.S. agricultural exports. Canada is our second-largest market.

 

Both the value and volume of exports rose in the first half of the year, with the volume of bulk shipments up 5% from last year. Wheat and cotton volumes were especially robust, with increases of 64% 44%, respectively.

 

March was the highest-grossing month for U.S. agricultural exports ever. During that month alone, U.S. farmers and ranchers exported $13.3 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods. That's $407 million more than the previous record set in November 2010.

 

Vilsack urged Congress to take speedy action on the Colombia, Korea, and Panama Free Trade Agreements noting the potential to add another $2 billion to the U.S. farm export ledger.