Economic Tidbits

Nebraska Ag Exports Surpass $9 Billion

Record-setting exports of corn and beef pushed Nebraska agricultural exports to a record $9.2 billion in 2021, up 27 percent, or nearly $2 billion from 2020 (Figure 1). Nebraska again was the fifth-largest agricultural exporting state, trailing only California, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. Nebraska topped the nation in exports of beef at $1.64 billion, was the second-largest exporter of hides and skins ($144 million), the third-largest exporter of corn ($2.34 billion), feed ($1.3 billion), and processed grain products ($390 million), and the fifth-largest exporter of soybeans ($2.16 billion), soybean meal ($390 million), and vegetable oil ($252 million). Pork and wheat exports last year were $308 million and $156 million respectively.

Figure 1. Total Nebraska Agricultural Exports ($)

Source: NEFB graphic based on USDA ERS data

Soybeans, corn, and beef remained solidly entrenched as Nebraska’s top three agricultural exports, accounting for 47 percent of the state’s total exports (Figure 2). Corn exports almost doubled last year, up 98 percent, hurdling soybeans and beef to become Nebraska’s top agricultural export. According to the USDA, U.S. corn was competitive in global markets in 2021 and was supported by tight supplies in competing export countries. Mexico was the largest buyer of Nebraska corn, accounting for 89 percent of the state’s corn exports. The U.S. overall saw growth in soybean exports, however, the value of Nebraska soybean exports were largely unchanged. Mexico was also the top purchaser of Nebraska soybeans. Nebraska beef exports rose 40 percent in 2021 with the growth driven by increased purchases of U.S. beef by South Korea and Japan, up 39 and 22 percent respectively. Purchases of beef by Mexico and China also contributed to the growth.

Figure 2. Nebraska Exports by Commodity ($)

Source: NEFB graphic based on USDA ERS data

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