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U.S. Agricultural Trade



  • U.S. and global trade are greatly affected by the growth and stability of world markets.
  • Changes in world population, economic growth, and income are most likely to alter global food demand.
  • Other factors affecting agricultural trade are global supplies and prices, changes in exchange rates, government support of agriculture, and trade protection policies.
  • With the productivity of U.S. agriculture growing faster than domestic food and fiber demand, U.S. farmers and agricultural firms rely heavily on export markets to sustain prices and revenues.
  • Exports have exceeded imports by a large margin since 1973.
  • Historically, U.S. imports have increased steadily, as demand for diversification in food expands.
  • U.S. consumers benefit from imports because imports expand food variety, stabilize year-round supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables, and temper increases in food prices.

ERS provides research and analysis on factors influencing U.S. agricultural exports and imports.

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You Might Also Be Interested In

Foreign Agricultural Trade of the United States (FATUS)

  • Latest U.S. Agricultural Trade Data (USDA's summary of calendar year, fiscal year, year-to-date, and current monthly value of U.S. agricultural exports, imports, and trade balance)
  • U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update (details on the quantity and value of U.S. farm export and import shipments; updated monthly, quarterly, and annually for major countries and commodities)

State Export Data (updated annually in June)


For more information, contact: Nora Brooks

Web administration: webadmin@ers.usda.gov

Updated date: March 18, 2009