USDA says fiscal 2013 agricultural exports are projected at a record $143.5 billion, but also says imports will be a record at $117 billion -- up from the revised 2012 forecast for $106.5 billion.
USDA says horticultural exports are forecast to rise, with grain and feed exports also expected up, driven largely by higher wheat volume and value, but also supported by higher corn unit values. The forecast for oilseeds is up from 2012, based on record soybean and soybean meal prices attributed to tight exportable supplies. Cotton exports are forecast down on falling unit values. Exports of livestock, poultry, and dairy products are forecast marginally lower as declines in dairy, pork, and poultry outweigh growth in beef.
USDA says lower prices for tropical oils (coconut, palm, and palm kernel), olive oil, coffee and cocoa beans, sugar, and rubber will result in a boost in import volume in 2013.
The forecast trade balance for fiscal 2013 shows a surplus of $26.5 billion, down $3.5 billion from the revised 2012 forecast. The revised trade surplus for 2012 is $30 billion.