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U.S. ag exports begin the year strong

U.S. agriculture export value for the first four months of the fiscal year, October through January, is $53.8 billion.

“That puts U.S. exports in a very strong position compared with Fiscal Year 2016,” said Bryce Cooke, a trade analyst with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Exports are 16 percent higher than they were the same four months of the previous year, said Cooke.  Imports are up, too, but only by six percent, meaning the U.S. agriculture trade surplus is growing.

“From $9.5 billion last year to $14.8 billion this year,” he said.

USDA figures indicate almost every U.S. agriculture product is selling better than a year ago, including corn.

“You’ve actually seen a 63 percent jump in the value of corn exports,” said Cooke, “and an even larger 71 percent jump in the volume.”

Export values for soybeans are up 29 percent since a year ago, wheat exports are up 18 percent and red meat exports are up 19 percent.  There are also increases in poultry ( up 10 percent) and dairy exports (up 11 percent).

The biggest jump from last year is in cotton exports.  They’re up 94 percent in value, 108 percent in volume.

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