Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was optimistic following the latest USDA forecast for farm exports.
“Today’s quarterly trade forecast reflects the fact that U.S. agricultural exports are continuing strong in the 2018 fiscal year. We just closed out FY 2017 with the third-highest export total on record and I’m delighted to see that FY 2018 is shaping up to come close. With a forecast of $140 billion, we’re looking at the fourth-best year in history. And there’s additional positive news in the fact that agriculture’s trade surplus is expected to grow eight percent, from $21.3 billion last year to $23 billion in 2018.
“Much of this expected success can be attributed to robust sales to our East Asian and North American trading partners. China is again shaping up to be our top market, led by continued strong soybean sales, while Canada and Mexico remain our second- and third-largest markets, respectively. We’re expecting exports to grow in the coming year to all of our top three markets.
“The bottom line is that exports continue to be a major driver of the rural economy, generating 20 percent of U.S. farm income and supporting more than a million U.S. jobs. The USDA team continues to work around the clock and around the globe to boost export prospects for American farmers and ranchers not only by expanding existing markets and improving existing trade agreements, but also by aggressively pursuing new markets and new opportunities.”