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December 10, 2013

USDA increases ag export outlook

Parsons, Kansas — USDA has increased its projections for fiscal year 2014 agricultural exports to $137 billion, up $2 billion from its last forecast in August but $3.9 billion below last year’s record export figures.

While grain, feed and cotton exports are forecast down compared to the August report, projections for oilseed and livestock exports pushed total forecasts higher.

Compared with the August forecast, grain and feed exports are forecast down $700 million, mostly due to lower unit values for wheat and certain feed products. The fiscal 2014 forecast for oilseed exports is up $2.4 billion on higher unit values and record early-season sales of soybeans and soybean meal.

The forecast for combined livestock, poultry, and dairy is raised $700 million to a record $31.8 billion on higher pork, dairy, and beef exports.

U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at a record $109.5 billion, down $3.7 billion from August, but $5.7 billion higher than in fiscal 2013.

The U.S. agricultural trade surplus is expected to fall by $9.6 billion in fiscal 2014, to $27.5 billion. This would be the smallest surplus since 2009.

 World income growth, estimated at 2.1 percent in 2013, is projected to rise to 2.8 percent in 2014. Trade growth is estimated at 2.5 percent in 2013.

 Fiscal year 2014 grain and feed exports are forecast at $28.1 billion, down $700 million from the August estimate due to lower values for wheat and feed products.

Coarse grain exports are forecast at $8.3 billion, down slightly on lower unit values that offset sharply higher volumes.

• Corn: Corn volume is forecast at 36.0 million tons, up 3.5 million from August on a record crop and strong early season sales. Feeds and fodders are down nearly $500 million as sharply lower corn prices boost corn feeding.

•Wheat: Fiscal 2014 wheat exports are forecast at $7.2 billion, a decrease of $500 million due to both lower value and volume. Competition with Canada is projected to intensify as it tries to move its record crop. Demand from both Brazil and China has declined for U.S. wheat. Good planting conditions in the Northern Hemisphere for next year’s crop, coupled with abundant global feed grain supplies, are expected to pressure prices downward.

•Oilseeds: Fiscal 2014 oilseed and product exports are forecast at $28.8 billion, up $2.4 billion from the August forecast following record early season-sales of soybeans and soybean meal. Improved U.S. soybean yields and larger production have boosted the outlook for exportable supplies. Unit values are also raised based on the strong demand and current price trends.  With improved global vegetable oil supplies lowering unit values, the U.S. soybean oil export forecast is lowered $130 million.

Fiscal 2014 livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are raised $700 million to a record $31.8 billion as growth in pork, dairy, and beef offset slightly lower poultry.

•Pork: Pork is forecast nearly $400 million higher to $5.5 billion, mostly on higher prices, with strong demand expected from Mexico and some Asian markets.

•Dairy: Dairy is raised $300 million to $5.9 billion on strong global prices and growing international demand, particularly from Asia.

•Beef: Beef is raised nearly $100 million to $5.0 billion,with higher prices due to strong global demand and tight other-exporter supplies. However, U.S. exports will be constrained by tight domestic supplies due to lower production.

•Poultry: Poultry is forecast nearly $100 million lower to $6.4 billion on lower broiler meat prices. £

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