U.S. Ag Still Has Black Trade Ink

July 12, 2009 07:00 PM

Pro Farmer Editors

U.S. agriculture continues to hold a trade surplus with the rest of the world, maintaining trade black ink of $1.633 billion in May. That month saw exports valued at $7.501 billion against imports of $5.868 billion.

For the fiscal year to date (Oct.-May), USDA said exports are valued at $66.874 billion against imports of $50.641 billion for a trade surplus of $16.234 billion. But against the same period in 2008, there are some strains showing. A year ago, U.S. agriculture managed to accumulate $77.381 billion in exports against $53.129 billion in imports for a $24.252 billion trade surplus.

So what all goes into the ag trade data: USDA defines agriculture to include: live animals, meat, and products of livestock, poultry, and dairy; hides and skins (but not leather products); animal fats and greases; food and feed grains and grain products; oilseeds and oilseed products; fruits, nuts, and vegetables and products of these; juices, wine, and malt beverages (not distilled spirits); essential oils; planting seeds; raw cotton, wool, and other fibers (not manufactured products of these); unmanufactured tobacco (not manufactured tobacco products); sugar and sugar products; coffee, cocoa, tea, and products of these; rubber and allied products; and stock for nurseries and greenhouses, spices, and crude or natural drugs. Fish, shellfish, and forestry products are not included in "agriculture."

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