USDA: Trade Forecast Down From Last Quarter

USDA released an updated trade forecast last week, and the projection is agricultural exports this fiscal year for most products down from their last forecast three months ago, but they are still higher than last year.

“U.S. exports of agricultural products are estimated for fiscal 2020 at $136.5 billion,” said USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson. “That’s down $1 billion from our estimate in February.

However, Johansson noted, it’s still $1 billion more business than American farmers did in the 2019 year.  He noted trade prospects for U.S. livestock and horticultural products are still strong, no cuts are anticipated in those sectors. The declines in prospects mostly coming from the bulk commodities. such as soybeans, cotton, corn and wheat.

Meanwhile, USDA is projecting the U.S. will import $132 billion worth of Ag products giving the country a trade surplus of $6.3 billion, just $700 billion less than USDa February projections. And as Johansson noted, that figure is higher than the 2019 number which was $4.6 billion.

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