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USDA Raises Agricultural Exports Forecast to Record $101 Billion for 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that U.S. agricultural exports are forecast to reach a record $101 billion for fiscal year 2008, up $10 billion from November’s forecast and an unprecedented $19 billion above 2007.

This latest forecast builds off of unprecedented consecutive year to year record exports since 2004. Higher wheat, coarse grain, and soybean prices account for just over half of the revision since November.

Exports of animal and horticultural products are forecast to rise a combined $3.5 billion in 2008 to record levels.

Foreign economic growth continues to support gains in consumer incomes and growth in the size of the middle class, particularly in the emerging markets. These consumers tend to spend more on food as their incomes rise, including food imported from the United States. The weaker dollar makes U.S. products very price competitive compared to other suppliers. At the same time, tighter competitor stocks further raise demand for U.S. wheat and corn.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, Economic Research Service, and World Agricultural Outlook Board release agricultural trade forecasts quarterly. The summary and full report of USDA’s "Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade" may be accessed from the FAS Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov or the ERS Web site at http://www.ers.usda.gov. The next quarterly report will be issued on May 31, 2008.

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