The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week indicated the value of U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal 2011 totaled a record $137,366,000,000, up $28,805,000,000, or 27%, from $108,664,000,000 in fiscal 2010.

“Thanks to the productivity of America’s farmers, ranchers and producers, the American brand of agriculture is surging in popularity worldwide,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “Farm exports in fiscal year 2011 reached a record high of $137.4 billion — exceeding the past high by $22.5 billion — and supported 1.15 million jobs here at home. Furthermore, agriculture continues to bolster our nation’s economy by contributing to a trade surplus year after year.”

U.S. agricultural imports in fiscal 2011 were valued at a record $94,487,000,000, up $19,526,000,000, or 25%, from $78,961,000,000 in fiscal 2010.

The U.S. agricultural trade balance surplus was $42,879,000,000 in fiscal 2011 compared with $29,710,000,000 in fiscal 2010, $22,891,000,000 in fiscal 2009 and $35,590,000,000 in fiscal 2008, the previous record surplus.

“Next year looks equally strong for the U.S. agricultural economy, thanks in part to President Obama signing new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which will add an additional $2.3 billion to our export total and support nearly 20,000 American jobs,” Mr. Vilsack said.

International Grains Council creates global grains and oilseeds index

LONDON — The International Grains Council is introducing a new grains and oilseeds daily price index aimed at “capturing the broad underlying trends across key markets.”

The council said it tracks daily information on a wide range of grains and oilseeds, cash markets and futures, “as part of efforts to promote greater transparency in international markets.”

“Given the increased turbulence in global grains and oilseeds markets in recent years, there has never been a greater need for more timely and up-to-date information,” the I.G.C. said.

The Grains and Oilseeds Index (G.O.I.) is a trade-weighted measure of international price movements across seven key commodities — wheat, maize (corn), barley, sorghum, rice, soybeans and rapeseed/canola. The I.G.C. said it calculates the index daily using 22 U.S. dollar-denominated daily export quotations at leading origins.

Sub-indices for wheat, rice, maize and oilseeds also will be updated daily. The G.O.I. close on Nov. 4 was 265, based on a value of 100 for January 2000.

The council said it will update and post the index daily at about 10:30 G.M.T.

Further details about the index, including its composition and weightings, as well as 12 years of historical data, may be found at: