U.S. agricultural exports fell by about 9 percent from November to December, while
imports rose by about 3 percent. Calendar year 2005 exports, at $63 billion, are $1.6
billion higher than 2004. Imports are $5.3 billion higher at $59.3 billion. While still
maintaining a trade surplus, that surplus has shrunk from $7.4 billion in 2004 to $3.7
billion for 2005.
Gains in 2005 export values of fruits, nuts, red meat, and poultry meat more than offset
declines in wheat, corn, cotton, and soybeans. Lower prices for soybeans and cotton
dropped values as the volume of soybeans rose about 2 percent and cotton shipments
rose nearly 18 percent in 2005. China continued to be the largest market for cotton and
soybeans in December. On the import side, most of the 2005 increase comes from
beverages (coffee, malt beverages, juices, and wine), fruits, nuts, and dairy products.