2021 Country Overview
Top U.S. Agricultural Export Markets(values in million USD)
|Commodity||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021||2020-2021 % Change||2017-2021 Average|
Source: U.S. Census Bureau Trade Data - BICO HS-10
U.S. agricultural exports to the world were a record $177 billion in 2021, an increase of 18 percent over last year and up 14.6 percent over the previous record set in 2014. All of the 15 top U.S. export destinations increased their value of imports last year with 8 of them setting records. China retained its position as the No. 1 export destination for U.S. agriculture importing a record $33 billion, an increase of $6.6 billion over 2020 and accounting for a quarter of the $27 billion increase in exports to the world last year. As China’s hog sector recovered from ASF it imported record amounts of soybeans, corn, and sorghum to feed a regrowing herd. Corn exports to China were up nearly $4 billion while beef exports rose to $1.6 billion after years of limited market access.
Mexico surpassed Canada as the second-largest export destination for U.S. agricultural exports, up $7.2 billion to a record $25.5 billion. Corn, soybeans, dairy, and pork were the top exports to Mexico with corn exports alone increasing more than $2 billion from 2020. Higher commodity prices and a strong economic recovery coming out of a 2020 recession that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the surge in demand from Mexico.
Canada remained a strong trading partner in 2021 importing $25 billion, a 12-percent increase over the previous year. Bakery goods, food preparations, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables led the way in terms of top U.S. exports. The commodities with the largest percentage increases year over year included ethanol, pet food, dairy, and pork.
The top 6 export markets continue to account for two-thirds of total U.S. agricultural exports to the world. Exports to all six, except the EU, were up more than $1 billion and 12 percent over 2020. Increased shipments of corn and beef helped increase export values to Korea and Japan. With higher commodity prices in 2021, the likelihood of setting yet another record appears strong.