Exports of U.S. agricultural goods maintained a robust pace through the first nine months of the year. Compared to the same period last year, exports through September of this year were up 26 percent. Figure 1 compares yearly percentage changes in export values in 2019 (blue), 2020 (red), and the first three quarters of 2021 (grey) for some of Nebraska’s top export commodities. Exports of corn have more than doubled compared to last year, up a whopping 114 percent. Red meat exports (beef, pork, and lamb) were up 26 percent and hides and skins were up 41 percent. Animal feeds and wheat also showed strong gains compared to last year, both up 19 percent. Soybeans exports, while not as strong as earlier in the year when they too were up more than 100 percent, were still showing a gain compared to last year of 14 percent.
Figure 1. Percentage Changes in Export Values: 2019, 2020, YTD 2021
Total U.S. agricultural exports through September were $124.5 billion compared to $102 billion last year and are expected to finish 2021 at an all-time high. Record exports is good news for Nebraska producers. Exports generally equal roughly 30 percent of the state’s total agricultural receipts and are one reason net farm income could reach a record level this year too.