The United States is a global powerhouse when it comes to agriculture production. China is the No. 1 customer of these agricultural goods, buying up billions upon billions of products. In 2015, China purchased $25.9 billion in U.S. ag exports, adding up to 16% of total exports.
USDA notes that U.S. farm exports to China have leveled off, but adds that “macroeconomic conditions” are favorable for long-term growth. These factors include the continued urbanization of China, along with a growing middle class that has more disposable income and a desire for high-value, protein-rich foods.
As such, USDA predicts considerable increases in U.S. grain, soybean, cotton, pork and beef exports to China by 2024.
Currently, seven commodities enjoy billion-dollar exports to China, including:
- Fish products
- Forest products
- Hides & skins
- Distillers grains
Total exports to China reached a record $29.6 billion in 2014 and slightly declined this year. Soybeans lead the pack, with $12.7 billion shipped to China in 2015. USDA estimates China’s food comsumption will outpace domestic demand more than 2% each year until 202.
“As China moves forward … U.S. agricultural stakeholders must be fully engaged with the Chinese in order to avoid unwarranted restrictions of U.S. exports and to promote policies that are mutually beneficial to the trade partnership,” according to Neil Mikulski, USDA-FAS Office of Global Analysis.