Improvements in trade relations have set the stage for potential export growth for U.S. agricultural goods. What do the economics suggest?
The global economy is expected to grow this year at 2.4 percent, a slightly higher rate compared to last year. The value of the dollar is presently higher than last year and projections suggest it will remain steady throughout the year and continue to be a competitive deterrent to U.S. agricultural exports. Production losses due to African Swine Fever (ASF) in Asia means there is tremendous potential for protein sales, particularly pork, to offset the losses. Beef production problems in Australia could also provide an assist to exports of U.S. beef. The Chinese trade deal and its efforts to rebuild its hog herd is positive for soybean exports. On the negative side, U.S. corn exports are expected to be lower, primarily due to international competition.