WASHINGTON, DC, US — US agricultural exports in fiscal year 2023 are projected at $190 billion, down $3.5 billion from the August forecast, according to the Economic Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture. This decrease primarily is driven by reductions in soybeans, cotton, and corn exports that are partially offset by gains in beef, poultry, and wheat, the ERS said.

The report said soybean exports are forecast down $2.4 billion, to $32.8 billion, due to smaller production and increased competition from South America. Cotton exports are forecast down $1 billion, to $6 billion, based on lower unit values and subdued demand. Grain and feed exports are projected to decrease by $300 million, to $46.2 billion, with declines in corn, sorghum, and rice exports partially offset by higher exports of wheat and feeds and fodders.

The forecast for corn is down $600 million, to $18.5 billion, on lower volumes. Livestock, poultry, and dairy exports are forecast to increase by $300 million, to $41.4 billion, as increases in beef, poultry, and variety meat exports more than offset declines in pork and the value of dairy exports. Beef exports are up $500 million, to $10.3 billion, driven by higher prices. Ethanol exports are unchanged at $4.2 billion from the August forecast and remain a record if realized.

The ERS noted that agricultural exports to China are forecast at $34 billion, down $2 billion from the August projection, due to lower export prospects for soybeans, cotton, sorghum, and pork. China is expected to remain the largest market for US agricultural exports.

US agricultural imports in 2023 are forecast at $199 billion, up $2 billion from the August forecast, largely driven by higher imports of horticultural products, sugar and tropical products, and grain and feed products. A strong dollar, while a headwind to the export forecast, is partially responsible for the higher import demand, the ERS said.