The USDA outlook for agricultural trade released Thursday estimates record exports, citing demand from Canada, Europe and Japan.
The USDA Economic Research Service and Foreign Agriculture Service projected FY2013 exports at $134.5 billion, a record high. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said the forecast was a good sign for U.S. farmers.
"Today's export forecast marks indication of an historic achievement for America's farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses. Even with tough odds due to extreme weather, U.S. agriculture is now poised for three consecutive years of record exports, smashing all previous records," Vilsack said in a USDA press release.
According to the report, grain and feed exports are up due to higher wheat volume and value as well as higher corn and oilseed values.
Vilsack said U.S. agricultural exports have grown 50% since 2009. He complimented U.S. farmers for resiliency and innovation, and Obama Administration efforts focused on trade.
"Since 2009, under the President's National Export Initiative, the Obama Administration has renegotiated and implemented important trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia, expanded trade in organics with the European Union, removed hundreds of unfair barriers to trade for American companies, and provided businesses the credit, knowledge and connections they need to reach new markets," Vilsack commented.
Despite the higher wheat volume and corn and oilseed values, the livestock sector is mostly down with the exception of beef.
The report said declines are largely due to increases in feed costs, which reduce producer margins and therefore lead to reduced supplies. However, poultry exports to Mexico and Canada are expected to stay steady.
Beef producers can expect a $200 million increase in export value due to higher unit values and higher export volume.