Value of Exports Will End Higher for 2017

After two years of weaker exports of farm goods, it is appearing as though 2017 will push higher.

According to a forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the value of agricultural exports in fiscal year 2017 will hit nearly $140 billion, up $10 billion from fiscal year 2016.

This would also break the trend of two consecutive years of falling exports in value.

With stronger exports and modest import increases in 2017, the U.S. will have an agricultural trade surplus of roughly $23 billion compared to $7 billion last year.

The USDA is saying the increase reflects the improvement in the global economy, and it represents a lower value for the U.S. dollar to make a better deal for foreign buyers to purchase U.S. agricultural products.

“It makes us a little more competitive in the export market relative to Brazil or Argentina or somebody else—it depends on who you’re weakening,” said Alan Brugler, president of Brugler Marketing & Management, LLC. “It’s individual country relationships that drive the competitiveness.”

The initial fiscal year 2018 forecast shows exports will reach $139 billion, slightly lower than current levels.