USDA Proposes to Add Pork and Distillers Dried Grain to Export Sales Reporting Requirements

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2012 — As the American brand of agriculture continues to surge in popularity worldwide, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announced today that it is proposing to add pork and distillers dried grain (DDG) to the list of commodities covered by the Export Sales Reporting Requirements. The proposal is aimed at improving market transparency and enabling commodity markets to better adjust to changing export activity.

Under this proposed rule, all exporters of U.S. pork and DDGs would be required to report weekly export sales of pork and DDGs to FAS. Information required would include the quantity, destination and marketing year of all pork and DDG export sales, including certain changes in previously reported sales.

"Exports of these two products have grown significantly in recent years," said FAS Acting Administrator Suzanne Heinen. "Exports of DDGs were about 2 million tons in 2007 and reached about 8 million tons in 2011. And U.S. pork exports reached about 2 million tons in 2011, which is double what it was five years ago. Adding pork and DDGs to the Export Sales Reporting Requirements would improve market transparency and enable commodity markets to better adjust to changing export activity."

This proposed rule would allow for information on the total volume of sales and shipments to be available within two weeks of the activity, rather than the nearly two-month lag in actual exports reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.

The Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 requires the reporting of exports of wheat and wheat flour, feed grains, oil seeds, cotton, pork, beef, and commodities that the Secretary of Agriculture may designate. A summary of the "U.S. Export Sales" report is published on the FAS website at http://www.fas.usda.gov/export-sales/esrd1.html, each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

View the proposed rule here: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/03/08/2012-5486/export-sales-reporting-requirements. All comments must be submitted on or before May 7, 2012. All comments concerning this proposed rule should be submitted to Peter W. Burr, Branch Chief, Export Sales Reporting Branch, Import Policies and Export Reporting Division, Office of Trade Programs, Foreign Agricultural Service, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington D.C. 20250-1021, STOP 1021; by email at pete.burr@fas.usda.gov; or by telephone at (202) 720-3274; or fax to (202) 720-0876. Persons with disabilities who require an alternative means for communication of information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). Peter Burr should also be contacted for more information about this program.

The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has aggressively worked to expand export opportunities and reduce barriers to trade, helping to push agricultural exports to record levels in 2011 and beyond. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its best periods in history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. Today, net farm income is at near record levels while debt has been cut in half since the 1980s. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 83 percent of the food we consume, while maintaining affordability and choice. Strong agricultural exports contribute to a positive U.S. trade balance, create jobs, boost economic growth and support President Obama's National Export Initiative goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

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