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Key Economic Trends

  • The U.S. trade surplus in agricultural products declined by $9.0 billion (36 percent) to $15.9 billion as U.S. exports decreased more than U.S. imports. The decline in U.S. agricultural exports was due primarily to a significant decrease in cereal exports as well as in cotton and dairy exports.
  • U.S. exports fell by $17.9 billion (15 percent) to $103.2 billion. The decrease in exports was largely due to lower prices. Prices were lower in part because of reduced demand as a result of the global economic downturn as well as an increased supply of certain products, such as cereals, resulting from large harvests in many producing countries. The largest absolute shift in U.S. agricultural exports in 2009 was the $11.4 billion (40 percent) decline in U.S. exports of cereals (food and feed grain).
  • U.S. imports fell by $8.9 billion (9 percent) to $87.3 billion. This decline was largely due to lower prices for many products, such as soybean and canola oil, ethyl alcohol, and cattle and beef. The largest absolute decrease in U.S. imports in 2009 was on animal or vegetable fats and oils, which fell by $1.5 billion (28 percent).

Trade Shifts from 2008 to 2009

  • U.S. trade surplus: Decreased by $9.0 billion (36 percent) to $15.9 billion
  • U.S. exports: Decreased by $17.9 billion (15 percent) to $103.2 billion
  • U.S. imports: Decreased by $8.9 billion (9 percent) to $87.3 billion

Selected Product Shifts

USITC Publications

Mushrooms: Industry and Trade Summary, USITC Pub.ITS-07, June 2010.

Apples: Industry and Trade Summary, USITC Pub. ITS-04, February 2010.

India: Effects of Tariffs and Nontariff Measures on U.S. Agricultural Exports, Inv. No 332-504, USITC Pub. 4107, November 2009.

Global Beef Trade: Effects of Animal Health, Sanitary, Food Safety, and Other Measures on U.S. Beef Exports, Pub. 4033, September 2008.

Certain Vegetables and Grape Juice: Probable Economic Effect of Accelerated Tariff Elimination for Certain Goods of Chile, Pub. 4017, June 2008.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Factors Affecting Trade Patterns of Selected Industries, Second Annual Report Publication No. 3989, April 2008

Other Government Resources

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Foreign Agricultural Service.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service.