Continuing on the topic of trade, U.S agricultural exports in 2021 should surpass 2020 levels, meaning Nebraska exports most likely set a record last year. Nebraska specific export numbers for last year will not be released until October, but the latest data on U.S. exports showed 2021 exports running well ahead of 2020 levels. Figure 3 compares annual percentage changes in U.S. exports in 2019 and 2020 to changes between January and November for 2021 several agricultural commodities. Through November, exports for nearly all key Nebraska commodities were running ahead of previous years’ levels, the only exception being soybeans. Corn exports through November were up an astronomical 110 percent. Most other commodities were up at least 20 percent, except soybeans and wheat, which were up 11 and 16 percent respectively. Total agriculture exports through November were 20 percent higher than 2020.
The export surge last year was due to Chinese purchases, increased global demand, tight worldwide stocks, and favorable competitive conditions for U.S. commodities. It’s no coincidence that Nebraska net farm income is expected to hit a record in 2021.
Figure 3. U.S. Agricultural Exports, 2019-2021