Skip to content

Third Quarter Outlook for U.S. Ag Trade in 2022 

Read highlights from the USDA trade outlook report to learn more about the state of U.S. agricultural trade in 2022.  

The USDA released its quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report in August, with updated forecasts for U.S. ag trade in 2022 and newly released trade projections for 2023.  

Overall, the U.S. ag trade outlook is bright for 2022, with projected increases in export values across commodities. This is welcome news for the ag community as farmers grapple with rising input costs and interest rates. After a record-breaking year in 2022, the USDA report predicts a slight decline for U.S. ag export trade in 2023, due to lower cotton, beef, and sorghum exports.  

Keep reading for more important takeaways from the USDA trade report and learn more about the factors that will influence future trade forecasts for U.S. agriculture.  

Key Findings from the USDA’s Ag Trade Outlook Report 

Since the last report in May, both agricultural exports and imports are expected to increase in 2022. U.S. ag exports in 2023 tell a slightly different tale, as the U.S. ag trade surplus is expected to flip to a trade deficit of $3.5B as a result of decreased exports across various ag commodities. 

U.S. Ag Trade in 2022 

  • Agricultural exports are expected to reach $196B, an increase of $5B from the previous report. Primary causes include increases in livestock, poultry, and dairy exports. 
  • Agricultural imports are expected to reach $192B, an increase of $11.5B from the previous report. This is 18 percent higher than 2021 imports due to increasing commodity prices. 

U.S. Ag Trade in 2023 

  • Agricultural exports are expected to fall to $193.5B, a decline of $2.5B from 2022. This decline is a result of lower exports of cotton, beef, and sorghum.  
  • Agricultural imports are expected to reach $197B, an increase of $5B from 2022. This increase can be attributed to greater imports of grains and feed products, horticultural products, and sugar and tropical products. 

Commodity Deep Dives 

In 2022, U.S. ag export trade values are up from May’s forecast for many ag commodities. However, declines are expected for most major ag commodities in 2023, except for soybeans.  

The top export commodities by value in 2022 include soybeans, corn, and beef/veal. Top exports by value in 2023 include soybeans, corn, and feeds/fodders. 

2022 Export Commodities 

  • Grain and feed (+2.4%): Due to higher corn exports, grain and feed exports are projected to increase by $1.1B to $47.8B.  
  • Livestock, poultry, and dairy (+5.4%): Livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are expected to increase by $2.2B to $42.6B. 
  • Soybeans (+2.2%): Due to greater commodity values and sale volumes, soybean exports are expected to increase by $700MM, reaching $33B. 
  • Corn (+.5%): Driven by higher commodity values, the export value of corn is expected to rise by $100MM to $19.2B. 
  • Cotton (-2.2%): Cotton exports are expected to fall by $200MM to $8.8B as a result of lower commodity values. 

Note: Percentage and numerical changes are compared to May 2022 export value projections. 

2023 Export Commodities 

  • Grain and feed (-2.7%): Due to lower sorghum, wheat, and corn exports, grain and feed exports are projected to decline by $1.3B to $46.5B. 
  • Livestock, poultry, and dairy (-3.5%): Livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are expected to fall by $1.5B to $41.4B. 
  • Soybeans (+6.7%): In contrast to most other commodities, soybean exports are expected to increase by $2.2B, reaching $35.2B. 
  • Corn (-.5%): Driven by lower volumes, the export value of corn is expected to fall by $100MM to $19.1B. 
  • Cotton (-20.0%): Cotton exports are expected to fall by $1.8B to $7B due to drought and the resulting crop loss. With more than half of the U.S. cotton crop located in regions with drought, production is expected to decline by more than 20 percent. 

Note: Percentage and numerical changes are compared to projected 2022 export values. 

Trade Partnerships  

China is expected to remain the top importer of U.S. ag commodities, totaling $36B. China is followed by Canada and Mexico, both tying at $28.5B in agricultural exports. Mexico’s projected exports fell by $1B from the previous trade report, likely a result of lower beef and cotton imports due to supply chain and weather disruptions. With U.S.-Mexico potato trade finally open, U.S. farmers are hopeful that there will be increases in potato exports to Mexico in the upcoming years. 

Challenges Impacting U.S. Global Agricultural Trade 

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine continues to disrupt the global economy with elevated energy prices, high shipping rates, and supply chain disruptions. 

The USDA trade report stated that the global economic outlook for 2022 and 2023 is becoming more uncertain as a result of various economic risks and challenges. Some of these challenges include: 

As a result of the rising value of the U.S. dollar, it is more expensive for countries to buy products from U.S. producers. 

“It’s kind of a one-two punch where a rising commodity value and a rising dollar have made it difficult for importing countries to aggressively buy.”

Bryan Doherty, Total Farm Marketing 

Time will tell of the full impacts of this inflationary environment and its impacts on global agricultural trade.  

Advocating for Farmer-First Agricultural Trade Legislation 

With 1.1B jobs supported by U.S. ag exports in 2020, advocating for legislation that protects agricultural trade interests and helps diversify our trade partners will be critical for our economy moving forward. 

Legislation that could impact agricultural trade includes the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, the America COMPETES Act, and the 2023 Farm Bill.   

Stay up to date on agricultural trade updates by signing up for AgAmerica’s bi-monthly newsletter. 

Related Posts

Sign-up for our newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

AgAmerica - An Equal Opportunity Lender

 

AgAmerica Lending® LLC is a licensed mortgage lender. NMLS ID# 372267

Copyright AgAmerica® LLC 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Sign-up for our newsletter!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

AgAmerica - An Equal Opportunity Lender

AgAmerica Lending® LLC is a licensed mortgage lender. NMLS ID# 372267

Copyright AgAmerica® LLC 2022. All Rights Reserved.