U.S. agricultural exports in 2021 maintained China as the top destination, after this Asian nation surpassed Canada and Mexico since 2020.
With a year-on-year increase of 18.2%, U.S. sales of these products to the Chinese market totaled $33.721 billion last year, according to USITC data.
This was followed by Canada, with 25,577 million dollars and an increase of 13.8%, at annual rate; Mexico (25,292 million, +13.6%), Japan (14,763 million, +8%) and South Korea (9,734 million, +5.3 percent).
The United States produces a wide variety of agricultural products, with California as the largest state producing agricultural goods (crops and livestock).
Agricultural products: U.S. domestic exports by selected trading partners and Reexports and by year
In millions of dollars and percentages.
Overall, the value of U.S. domestic exports of agricultural products increased by $27.8 billion (18.3 percent) to a record $179.3 billion in 2021.
This represents a substantially higher growth rate than the 5.3% growth from 2019 to 2020 and the average annual growth of 4.9% since 2016.
U.S. agricultural exports
According to the USITC, rising prices, driven by global food price inflation, contributed to many of these rising values.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) food price index increased from 113.5 in January 2021 to 133.7 in December 2021.
Internally, the FAO meat price index increased from 96.0 to 111.0, the dairy price index increased from 111.2 to 129.0, the cereal price index increased from 125.0 to 140.5, and the largest increase was recorded in the vegetable oil price index, which increased from 138.9 to 178.5.
Overall, the increase in world food prices was due to increased import demand, especially from China, relative to stagnant or reduced export supply, including supply chain disruptions caused by the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and increased demand following the initial slowdown related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Among U.S. agricultural exports, USITC compendium (compendium) cereal subheadings, which include corn and wheat, posted the largest increase in exports, up $11.2 billion (58.8 percent).
Other compendia where exports increased by more than $1 billion include cattle and beef ($3.1 billion, 41.7 percent); feed, which includes distillers grains and pet food ($2.5 billion, 18.8 percent); oilseeds, including soybeans ($1.9 billion, 7.4 percent); dairy products ($1.2 billion, 20.3 percent); and poultry ($1.0 billion, 23.3 percent).
Exports to Mexico and China contributed the largest absolute values to the record growth, up $7.1 billion and $6.7 billion, respectively.