Forecast value of U.S. ag exports raised from February

by Jay Sjerven
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Forecast value of U.S. ag exports raised from February
The U.S.D.A. forecast the value of U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2016 at $124,500 million, down $500 million from the previous forecast issued in February.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on May 26 forecast the value of U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2016 (F.Y. 2016) at $124,500 million, down $500 million from the previous forecast issued in February and down $15,200 million, or 11%, from $139,741 million in fiscal 2015. The forecast for the current year compared with the record export value of $152.3 billion in F.Y. 2014 and would be the lowest export value since $108.5 billion in F.Y. 2010.

The U.S.D.A. forecast the value of U.S. agricultural imports in F.Y. 2016 at a record $114,800 million, down $3,700 million from the February projection but up $800 million from $114,026 million in F.Y. 2015, the current record. The decrease from the February projection reflected a forecast decline in tropical product imports.

The U.S. agricultural balance of trade surplus for F.Y. 2016 was forecast at $9,700 million, up $3,200 million from the February projection but down $16 billion, or 62%, from $25,715 million in F.Y. 2015.

“American farmers and ranchers continue to compete and win in foreign markets,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on the release of the trade data. “Even in today’s environment of lower commodity prices, abundant global supplies and a strong U.S. dollar, exports remain a key pillar supporting U.S. agriculture and rural communities. Today’s quarterly agricultural trade forecast shows the resilience of our agricultural sector despite the economic headwinds.”

The U.S.D.A. forecast the value of grain and feed exports at $27,700 million, up $500 million from the February outlook because of larger wheat and corn volumes and higher unit values for corn and sorghum.

The value of U.S. wheat exports in FY 2016 was forecast at $5,100 million, up $100 million from the February projection but down $7,000 million from $5,846 million in F.Y. 2015. The value of U.S. corn exports in F.Y. 2016 was forecast at $7,800 million, up $400 million from the February outlook but down $991 million, or 4%, from $8,791 million in F.Y. 2015.

The value of U.S. oilseed and product exports were forecast at $26,100 million, up $700 million from the February projection in response to stronger soybean and soybean meal export volumes and higher soybean unit values.

The U.S.D.A. forecast the value of U.S. soybean exports at $17,700 million, up $700 million from the February projection but down $3,937 million, or 18%, from $21,627 million in F.Y. 2015. The value of soybean meal exports was forecast at $3,800 million, up $100 million from the February outlook but down 28% from $5,255 million in F.Y. 2015. The value of U.S. soybean oil exports in F.Y. 2016 was forecast at $800 million, down $100 million from February but up 4% from $771 million in F.Y. 2015.

The largest category of U.S. agricultural imports is horticulture products. The U.S.D.A. forecast the value of U.S agricultural imports in F.Y. 2016 at a record $53,200 million, down $700 million from the February projection but up about 7% from $49,692 million in F.Y. 2015.

The value of U.S. sugar and tropical product imports was forecast at $23,400 million, down $3,500 million from the February projection and down from $23,520 million in F.Y. 2015.

“Tropical products have been adjusted downward since February’s outlook as rubber imports are now expected to fall by $500 million from the previous forecast and $200 million from F.Y. 2015 as lower unit values more than offset steady volumes,” the U.S.D.A. said. The value of U.S. sweeteners and product imports was forecast at $4,900 million, unchanged from February and compared with $4,871 million in F.Y. 2015. 
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