WASHINGTON — China was forecast to remain the largest importer of U.S. agricultural products in fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its quarterly “Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade” issued Nov. 29.

The value of U.S. agricultural products forecast to be imported by China this fiscal year was $21.2 billion, up $700 million from the August projection but down $2,159 million, or 9%, from a record $23,359 million in fiscal year 2012 and compared with $19,875 million in fiscal 2011 and $15,002 million in fiscal 2010. China overtook Canada as the largest importer of U.S. agricultural products in fiscal year 2011.

The forecast value for China’s fiscal 2013 imports of U.S. agricultural products was raised from the August outlook on China’s strong demand for soybeans coupled with high U.S. prices. At the same time, the U.S.D.A. observed, “Though the forecast is raised from the initial fiscal 2013 forecast issued in August, exports are expected down from the fiscal 2012 record of $23.4 billion. Meat, dairy products, tree nuts, and soybean exports (to China) are expected to be strong in fiscal 2013, but corn and cotton shipments should fall from the records set last year.”