The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture today released its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report. USDA projects that Fiscal Year 2014 agricultural exports will reach $149.5 billion, an estimated $6.9 billion higher than previous estimates and, if realized, a new record for American agricultural exports. Today's report indicates the record growth is due not just to rising prices, which have driven export numbers in the past, but also to an increase in the volume of U.S. agricultural exports, which is projected to increase by 31% between Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014.
Last Fiscal Year, agricultural exports reached $140.9 billion and supported nearly 1 million jobs here at home. Fiscal Years 2009-2013 represent the strongest 5 years in history for agricultural trade, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $619 billion over those five years.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on this report:
"American farmers and ranchers are on track for another year of record exports, which builds on the past 5 years of the strongest agricultural trade in our history. This report indicates that the volume of U.S. agricultural exports has increased, which demonstrates an increasing global appetite for high-quality, American-grown products.
"USDA will continue to focus its efforts on tapping into new markets for what is grown and made in rural America. Today, only 1% of U.S. companies export, and yet 95% of the world's consumers live outside the borders of the United States, creating significant opportunities for U.S. food and agriculture. Thanks to resources in the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA is able to continue support for trade promotion and market expansion for U.S. agricultural products overseas — programs that return $35 in economic benefits for every dollar invested. In addition, the Administration's Made in Rural America initiative, launched by President Obama at the 2014 Farm Bill signing, will further these efforts by helping rural businesses and leaders access federal resources to help them connect with new customers and markets abroad.
"Collectively, these efforts will ensure that America's farmers and ranchers are well positioned to capitalize on emerging export markets and continue to drive economic growth in rural America."