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June 15, 2022

Second Quarter Report Highlights: The 2022 U.S. Agricultural Trade Outlook 

Despite economic volatility, the 2022 agricultural trade outlook continues to rise due to strong prices and demand.  

The USDA’s second quarter trade forecast for 2022 indicates a positive global trade position for U.S. agriculture, with a projected trade surplus of $10.5 billion. Both U.S. agricultural exports and import outlooks are expected to increase from the first quarter agricultural trade forecast released in February 2022.  

Keep reading to learn more about what to expect in the international agricultural trade environment in 2022. 

Report Highlights: 2022 U.S. Agricultural Trade Outlook  

U.S. agricultural exports are projected to increase by $7.5 billion or 4.1 percent from the previous trade outlook to a record $191 billion in 2022. Increases in corn, cotton, and soybeans are spearheading this growth in projections.  

In addition to rising export values, ag imports are projected to reach $180.5 billion, an increase of $8 billion or 4.6 percent. This is mainly due to increases in unit values. In comparison to the previous year, ag import values have increased by 20 percent for the first half of 2022. 

Since the last trade report in February 2022, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has placed a strain on the global supply of agricultural products and increased uncertainty surrounding supply and demand. From supply chain shortages to spiking fertilizer costs, American farmers and ranchers are already experiencing the impact of this conflict. This second quarter report takes into account the short-term repercussions on international agricultural trade, although the full impacts remain to be seen.  

While the agricultural trade outlook remains positive, potential challenges that could shift the next trade outlook for U.S. agriculture include: 

  • Trade disruptions; 
  • Rising energy costs; 
  • Rising inflation rates; and 
  • Tightening monetary policy.  

Commodity Deep Dives  

The majority of commodities are expected to see increases in export values in comparison with the first quarter report.  

  • Grain and feed (+8.9%): Grain and feed exports are projected to increase by $3.8 billion to $46.7 billion.  
  • Corn (+13%): Corn exports are projected to increase by $2.2 billion to $19.1 billion as a result of record volumes and higher unit sales. As a major contributor, the Ukraine conflict has led to increased sales and shipments of U.S. corn due to constricted exports from Ukraine.  
  • Livestock, poultry, and dairy (+3%): Projected to increase by $1.2 billion to $40.4 billion, all major commodities in this category are expected to increase except pork. Beef exports are expected to increase by $700 million to $10.2 billion, as a result of high demand in East Asia. 
  • Soybeans (+3.2%): As a result of higher volumes, soybean exports are projected to reach $32.3 billion, a $1.1 billion increase. 
  • Cotton (+12.5%): Higher unit sales are driving an increase of $1 billion to a projected value of $9 billion for cotton exports.  
  • Ethanol (+31%): Likely influenced by the recent lift on the E15 fuel sales ban for summer 2022, ethanol exports are projected to increase by $900 million to $3.8 billion. 

Trade Partnerships 

Despite tensions surrounding the Phase One trade agreement, China remains the largest U.S. export market with an expected $36 billion in exports for 2022. However, there is a growing effort to expand trade relationships to reduce risk. Exports to other areas of Asia including Japan, Southeast Asia, and India are projected to increase. This indicates progress in diversifying America’s trade partnerships to reduce reliance on China.  

Mexico is predicted to be the second-highest importer of U.S. agricultural goods with $29.5 billion in U.S. ag exports forecasted in 2022, while Canada is close behind at $28.5 billion. In terms of ag imports, Mexico is projected to remain the largest foreign supplier of agricultural goods followed by Canada and the EU. 

Stay Informed on Industry Developments with AgAmerica 

With record ag exports expected for 2022, American farmers and ranchers continue to play a crucial role in providing food for a growing global population. That’s why it’s vital for our farmers to be supported in their efforts. As a champion of American farmers and ranchers, AgAmerica goes beyond the limitations of traditional lenders to provide both financial counsel and educational resources that empower farmers with the support they need to continue feeding the world.  

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