U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2020 are projected at $136.5 billion, down $3 billion from the February forecast, according to USDA's latest Outlook for Agricultural Trade.
The COVID-19 pandemic is damaging the ability of firms and individuals to produce goods and services while simultaneously changing the consumption behavior of consumers and businesses across the globe. As a result of the pandemic, real per capita world gross domestic product is forecast to decline by 5.5% in fiscal year relative to the prior year.
The U.S. consumer is a driving factor in the economy and the effects of negative income shocks and the resulting shifts in spending patterns will have ripple effects through the economy. Real per capita GDP growth for the United States for FY 2020 is adjusted down from the February forecast of 1.1% to minus 7.1 percent. This amounts to a reduction in economic activity of $1.8 trillion during FY2020.
The forecast for agriculture includes:
- Projections for soybean exports are reduced $1.9 billion from the previous estimate to $16.5 billion for fiscal year 2020 due in part to increasingly competitive Brazilian exports.
- Cotton exports are forecast down $1 billion on lower volumes and unit values as the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced foreign demand.
- Corn exports are projected at $8.0 billion, down $500 million on lower unit values, which are pressured by ample exportable supplies and weak domestic use for fuel ethanol.
- The forecast for wheat exports is down $300 million to $6.1 billion, as larger global supplies and uncompetitive U.S. pricing reduce prospective volume.
- Livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are unchanged from the February projection of $32.4 billion, as stronger demand for pork and dairy products offsets a decline for beef and poultry products.
- The forecast for horticultural exports is unchanged at $35.5 billion.
- U.S. agricultural imports in FY 2020 are projected at $130.2 billion, down $2.3 billion from the February forecast. This decline is primarily driven by expected decreases in imports of horticultural products such as beer, fresh fruit, and fresh vegetables.