USDA-FAS: Early Months Suggest a Bright 2021 for United States Agricultural Exports
U.S. agricultural exports in the first four months (January – April) of 2021 were a record $59 billion, exceeding the previous record set in 2014 by nearly $5 billion. Robust global demand, high commodity prices, and increased U.S. competitiveness have led to record exports of corn, sorghum, beef, food preparations, and other products. Others including soybeans, soybean meal, wheat, and dairy have also seen large increases during recent years and have contributed significantly to early-year export levels. At the current pace, there is a strong possibility of a record-breaking year for U.S. agricultural exports surpassing the 2014 mark of $154.5 billion.
The agriculture, food, and related industries are vital parts of the U.S. economy, contributing an estimated $1.109 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product and providing employment for 22.2 million people in the United States in 2019, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service. Agricultural exports have grown significantly within the past decades, becoming an increasingly important component of the agriculture industry. From 2000 to 2020, U.S. agricultural exports grew from $56 billion to $150 billion. It is estimated that U.S. agricultural exports supported nearly 1.1 million full-time jobs in 2019. In 2020, exports increased by nearly $9 billion during 2019. A record in 2021 would drive this total even higher, likely supporting more U.S. jobs and making a larger positive impact on the U.S. economy.