Fiscal 2010 agricultural exports are forecast at $104.5 billion, up $4.5 billion from the February forecast and $7.9 billion above final FY 2009 exports. Strong oilseed and grain shipments support the overall export forecast.
The soybean export forecast contributed most to the improved overall trade forecast, with exports spurred by record U.S. soybean production and record early season sales to China. Grain exports are up due to higher demand for feeds and fodders and high-quality wheat. Cotton exports are also forecast up due to higher prices and tighter supplies among competing exporters. The forecast for horticultural exports is raised due to strong exports to Canada of fresh fruits and vegetables along with surging tree nut shipments to China and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, dairy, livestock, and poultry exports are forecast up only slightly as gains in broiler meat and hides and skins outweigh smaller exports of beef and pork variety meats. Asia is forecast to surpass the Western Hemisphere as the largest regional market for U.S. exports.
Fiscal 2010 agricultural imports are forecast at $76.5 billion, down $1 billion from the previous forecast due mostly to declining values of imported vegetable oils. To date, import volumes of vegetable oils and other oilseed products lag behind 2009 levels. While forecast values of vegetable oils, bulk grains, dairy products, and beef are lowered, projections for horticultural crops and tropical products are up from both the recent forecasts and 2009 values. The major import products will continue to be horticultural products, including sugar and tropical products and oilseed products.