U.S. Ag Registers Record Export Value for 2010

February 15, 2011 05:28 AM

U.S. agriculture continues to pile up positive trade data, finishing calendar year 2010 with a record export value and continuing to build an impressive export surplus for fiscal year (FY) 2011 which started Oct. 1

According to trade data for December, USDA said exports for calendar 2010 were a record $115.809 billion, up from $98.453 billion registered in 2009 and the prior record of $114.8 billion in 2008. The value of imports for calendar 2010 at $81.856 billion resulted in a trade surplus of $33.953 billion. That is still behind, however, the surplus of $34.273 billion in 2008.

For FY 2011, the $12.496 billion in exports for December pushed the FY-to-date export value to $37.308 billion, up from $30.163 billion tallied the same period in FY 2010. The trade surplus so far is at $16.250 billion, compared to just over $12 billion a year ago.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack also hailed the export tally for calendar year 2010, noting it showed the positive contribution the sector makes to the U.S. economy. "U.S. farmers and ranchers had a record-breaking export year, surpassing the previous high of $114.8 billion, set in calendar year 2008, by nearly $1 billion," Vilsack said. "We saw a rise in both the value and volume of U.S. agricultural exports worldwide."

In addition, Vilsack said the data show "demand for U.S. food and agricultural products is soaring worldwide. This is good news for all Americans in these trying economic times. Every $1 billion in agricultural exports supports 8,000 American jobs, which means agricultural exports supported nearly 1 million jobs in 2010."

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