Agriculture export projection down, but poised for record

Published online: Jun 05, 2013
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U.S. agriculture exports for fiscal 2013 are likely to set a record, but not to the extent projected earlier by the USDA.

The latest U.S. Agriculture Trade Outlook projects exports at $139.5 billion worth. That's down from previous estimates of $145 billion last November and $142 billion three months after that.

"Corn exports are down considerably," said Joe Glauber, chief economist at the USDA, in an interview provided by the agency. "Back in February we were looking at corn exports around almost $8 billion. That's down to about $6 billion now and a lot of that's volume."

Corn shipments are expected to be about 19.5 million tons, down about 4.5 million from the February forecast because of low supplies and high prices. Wheat export projections also fell about 2 million tons.

Export projections are higher for U.S. oilseeds and oilseed products and for cotton.

U.S. agriculture imports are forecast at a record $111 billion. It's lower than the previous forecast, but it's $7.6 billion higher than in fiscal 2012.

The agriculture trade surplus for fiscal year 2013 is projected to be $28.5 billion, down a billion from the February forecast and down $3.9 billion from last year.