For the first time in 50 years, ag exports have fallen for three months in a row, according to USDA. In the month of May alone, ag imports of $9.9 billion exceeded ag exports by $1.1 million.
But it’s not all bad news. While dollar amounts of ag imports exceeded ag exports, ag export tonnage has stayed up.
Falling meat exports in dollar amounts could be one factor pushing down U.S. ag exports. The U.S. Meat Export Federation reported that between January and May, beef exports fell 11 percent, and pork exports were down six percent. However, tonnage was up, with beef rising 3% and pork increasing 1%.
China can’t seem to get enough of U.S. pork, buying volumes 80% higher than last year. Demand for beef exports is coming from Mexico, Japan and South Korea.