2020 U.S. AG Exports Led By Soybeans

Apr 14, 2021

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The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) recently released its 2020 U.S. Agricultural Export Yearbook, a statistical summary of U.S. agricultural commodity exports. The Yearbook stated that total U.S. agricultural exports in 2020 were nearly $146 billion, up almost 7 percent from 2019, and the second highest level on record (after Calendar Year 2014). The primary factor for this surge in exports was increased shipments of soybeans, corn, and pork to China.

FAS stated, “Soybeans continued to be the United States’ No.1 agricultural export, increasing 38 percent to a record $25.7 billion in 2020 and accounting for nearly 18 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports. In 2020, soybean shipments to China accounted for 55 percent of total soybean exports, returning to levels prior to China’s imposition of Section 232 and 301 retaliatory tariffs, when China accounted for at least 50 percent of total bean export value since 2009.”

More narrowly with respect to soybeans, the Yearbook noted that U.S. soybean exports are forecast at record levels for the marketing year ending in August (2020-2021). Soybean shipments are back on trend this year with large sales being shipped out in late 2020 and early 2021.

The Yearbook also noted that China, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the EU, and South Korea were the top six export markets for agricultural goods in 2020.

In January, ISA reported that Illinois was once again the top producer of soybeans nationwide raising 605 million bushels on 10.25 million harvest acres with an average yield of 59 bushels per acre.

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