U.S. farm exports to set record, fall short of USDA projections

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 8:39 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WAXX) - There’s good news and some not-so-good news concerning the final numbers for U.S. farm exports for this year. The good news is those exports are going to set a record of $175.5 billion. The not-so-good news is that the total was expected to be higher than that. In August, USDA economists said our farm exports would be $2 billion more than they actually were. The reason was China. The country ended up buying less U.S. crops and livestock than earlier expected. Our foreign soybean sales were a major reason for lower export values as the Chinese market softened. That meant total soybean sales were down almost $4 billion to $28.4 billion. But those final sales figures were still up over $3 billion from the previous sales record set in 2021.

Our Phase 1 trade agreement with China expires at the end of this year and they are way behind in fulfilling their side of the deal. They are supposed to buy an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over a two-year period with $80 billion being U.S. agricultural products. Through the end of September, they had bought just over $50 billion worth of U.S. farm products and observers say with the weak Chinese economy they probably won’t buy enough to satisfy the terms of the agreement.

Some of the recently planted crops in Brazil and Argentina are being threatened by dry weather. Crop observers are saying the weather is already causing some yield losses, especially in soybeans. Weather forecasters in South America are saying this will be the third driest start to December in more than 30 years for the major growing areas of Brazil. And it will be the second driest start ever to December in Argentina. And they don’t see much relief in many of those growing areas because their weather this winter will be influenced by a La Nina weather pattern.

AgCountry Farm Credit Services and Farm Credit Services of North Dakota will soon be one organization. That’s because members of the lending cooperative have approved a plan to merge the two lenders effective January 1st of 2022. Ag Country currently has offices in Central and North central Wisconsin which will be part of the new group operating in 82 counties in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin with over 25,000 member owners and over $10 billion in assets.

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