The forecast for agricultural exports for the 2008 fiscal year is $114 billion, a number that USDA analyst Nora Brooks says could easily be surpassed once final trade numbers for September are tallied. She says exports have been growing substantially and through the first 11 months of the fiscal year exports reached $109 billion, an increase of 43% over last year.
"The big increases for 2008 of course were all of the grains, wheat and corn, soybeans just rose phenomenally both in value and volume," Brooks says. "Rice shipments were also up about 54%, wheat was up more than double, corn was up 59% and soybeans were up 78%."
The official USDA export forecast for the 2009 fiscal year will be down a billion to $113 billion; however that forecast was made before the recent economic problems. USDA will update its forecast at the end of November.