The American agricultural industry posted its highest annual export levels ever recorded last year, according to the final 2021 trade data from the Department of Commerce. The report shows exports of U.S. farm and food products to the world in 2021 totaled $177 billion, topping the 2020 total by 18 percent and eclipsing the previous record, set in 2014, by 14.6 percent.
The United States’ top 10 export markets all saw gains in 2021, with six of the 10 – China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines and Colombia – setting new records. Worldwide exports of many U.S. products, including soybeans, corn, beef, pork, dairy, distillers grains and pet food, also reached all-time highs. China remained the top export destination, with a record $33 billion in purchases, up 25 percent from 2020, while Mexico inched ahead of Canada to capture the number two position with a record $25.5 billion, up 39 percent from last year.
The healthy export demand for meat and dairy was a big topic of discussion at last week’s Cattle Industry Convention. “The beef export results are truly remarkable, especially considering the COVID-related obstacles in the global foodservice sector and all the supply-side and logistical challenges faced by the U.S. industry,” said U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Obviously our large Asian markets accounted for much of the growth, but it really takes broad-based global demand to reach these impressive levels. So this success story is not just about Korea, Japan and China – but also a strong performance in Taiwan, excellent growth in Central and South America and a rebound in Mexico and Southeast Asia.”
Listen to an interview with Halstrom from #CattleCon22.
CIC22 Interview with Dan Halstrom, USMEF 4:09