Fiscal 2013 U.S. agricultural exports are forecast at a record $145 billion, up $1.5 billion from the August forecast and $9.2 billion above fiscal 2012 exports, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.  

The forecast for poultry, livestock and dairy is down $100 million on lower poultry, beef, and cattle exports. Grain and feed exports are forecast down $1.9 billion, mostly due to lower corn exports. Oilseed exports are up $3.3 billion on much higher volumes and record prices, while cotton exports are forecast down $200 million in part due to reduced Chinese demand. Horticultural exports are unchanged at a record $32 billion.

U.S. imports are also projected to hit records, at $115 billion in fiscal 2013, up 11 percent from 2012’s imports of $103.4 billion but down $2 billion from the August forecast for 2013. The reduced forecast for 2013 is largely due to significantly lower prices for tropical oils, processed fruits and vegetables, sugar, coffee, rubber and cocoa, according to the USDA.

Poultry, livestock, dairy

The fiscal 2013 export forecast for poultry, livestock and dairy is lowered $100 million to $29.8 billion, with losses in poultry, beef, and cattle outweighing gains. Despite higher broiler meat exports, poultry exports are forecast down $100 million to $6.1 billion, due to lower unit values and volumes for turkey meat and poultry offals. Beef exports are forecast at $4.8 billion, down $150 million as marginally higher prices do not offset slightly lower volumes. Tight supplies on lower U.S. production constrain shipments despite strong global demand. Exports of dairy products are forecast higher by 4 percent to $5 billion as stronger international prices are expected to offset lower volume sales, particularly of cheese, skim milk powder, and butterfat, said the USDA report.

Although reduced $100 million from August, the beef import forecast for 2013 shows a 13-percent gain in import value over 2012 as domestic beef supplies tighten and demand for processing-type beef remains strong. Fewer cattle imports are expected in 2013 as cattle inventories in Mexico are lower and herds are rebuilt in Canada. However, the forecast is unchanged from August. The pork import estimate for 2013 is lowered $30 million from the August forecast to $1.3 billion because of relatively tight exportable supplies in Canada, the top U.S. supplier. Similarly, expected swine imports are trimmed by $24 million.