U.S. farmers are watching their trade surplus with other countries get smaller and smaller and the new USDA trade forecast for this fiscal year shows that surplus shrinking at a faster pace, than had been projected back in February. U.S. Ag exports are forecast to be $6 billion less than last year, at $137 billion, and imports of foreign agriculture are expected to grow to $129 billion.
“That’s up $1 billion from our February forecast and up a little over $1 billion last year’s level at $127.6 billion,” said USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson.
He says if you calculate the numbers, you get a positive trade balance in Agriculture of $8 billion, which is almost cut in half from last year. The drop in Ag exports is due mainly to ongoing trade disputes, but why the increase in Ag imports?
Johansson said it’s because of the storg U.S. economy which leads to, “a strong dollar out there which is making our exports more difficult to sell and imports easier to buy.”
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