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USDA Sees Rise in Farm Exports

By Scott Kliman, Wall Street Journal (8/31/10)

  SEPTEMBER 12, 2010 --

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, with a nod toward the drought that has knocked Russian wheat farmers from the export market, said recently it expects U.S. agricultural exports to increase 5.1% to $113 billion in the federal fiscal year ending in September 2011.

One of the biggest factors behind the expected rise is the likelihood that reduced competition from Black Sea farmers will allow U.S. farmers to export $8.1 billion worth of wheat in fiscal 2011, up 35% from the USDA's revised fiscal 2010 forecast of $6 billion.

In May, the USDA forecast fiscal 2010 wheat exports of $5.3 billion.

The USDA also predicted that U.S. corn exports will climb 16.5% in fiscal 2011 to $10.6 billion from its fiscal 2010 forecast of $9.1 billion. The agency also said it expects U.S. cotton exports to climb 25% in fiscal 2011 to $6 billion from $4.8 billion in fiscal 2010.

U.S. agricultural exports are climbing despite the rocky economy in the U.S. and much of developed world in part because U.S. farmers do a lot of their business with emerging Asian nations, which are generating the strongest growth.

The USDA said it expects the U.S. to export $47 billion worth of agricultural goods to Asia in fiscal 2011, up 5.1% from its upwardly revised forecast of $44.7 billion in fiscal 2010.


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