USDA projects higher beef exports

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The USDA’s Trade Outlook report, released February 21, projects U.S. exports of agricultural products for fiscal year 2013 up $6.2 billion from FY2012. The report raises the forecast for FY 2013 livestock, poultry, and dairy products by $300 million to a record $30.1 billion, with gains in poultry and beef outweighing reductions in pork.

For beef and veal specifically, the report projects $5 billion in export value for FY2013, up from $4.77 billion in FY2012. The February report raises the estimate for FY2013 beef export value by $200 million while volumes are unchanged. Expansion in the Japanese market and strong

demand in other major markets offsets restrictions by Russia. Although not mentioned in this report, the OIE’s announcement this week to upgrade the U.S. BSE status from controlled to negligible should further boost beef exports this year.

According the report, the world economy grew by 2.4 percent in 2012, below the 2.9 percent rate of 2011. As a result, trade growth in 2012 dropped to 2 percent from 7 percent in 2011. However, USDA projects world trade growth to pick up again, to 5 to 5 percent, during 2013 based on economic growth in Asian and Latin American countries. The U.S. dollar appreciated by 0.5 percent during 2012, but the report projects the dollar will depreciate by 1 to 2 percent during FY2013, providing additional stimulus for agricultural trade.

U.S. agricultural imports are forecast at a record $112.5 billion, $2.5 billion lower than the November forecast, but $9.1 billion higher than in fiscal 2012. The trade balance remains a positive $29.5 billion.

The government’s fiscal year runs through September 30.

Read the full report from USDA.

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