In 2019, the United States led the world in exports of agricultural crops and livestock, with 11.4% of total global export volume. That volume was valued at $140,196 million USD, or 9.7% of the worldwide total, according to FAOSTAT data.
In 2020, China was the top destination for US agricultural exports, reaching a value of $26,435 million USD, a significant increase of 90.7% compared to 2019, when the total value was $13,860 million USD.
In 2016, 2017, and 2018, the annual export values were $21,395, $19,476, and $9,145 million USD, respectively. After several years of decreases, there was a significant upturn in 2019 and 2020.
The United States was the second largest agri-food supplier to China in 2020, supplying 15% of its imports. Brazil held the first position with 22%, and the European Union came in third with 14%.
As part of the Phase One Agreement, China had committed to importing $40,000 million annually in 2020 and 2021. However, it came up 34% short in 2020 due to the global impact of the pandemic.
In 2020, the top agricultural products exported to China were soy ($14,160 MM), cotton ($1,826 MM), corn ($1,205 MM), coarse grains ($1,153 MM) and tree nuts ($746 MM).
In 2020 the value of US agricultural exports to Canada was $20,992 million, just 0.5% more than the $20,886 million exported in 2019. During the last 5 years there have not been significant variations to these values.
The top agricultural products exported were fresh vegetables ($1,891 MM), fresh fruit ($1,580 MM), and tree nuts ($737 MM).
The United States is the primary agricultural supplier for Canada, providing 57% of its imports, largely due to two competitive advantages: proximity, as the only country bordering Canada, and the adverse climate that limits agricultural production in Canada during most of the year.
In 2020, agricultural exports to Mexico were valued at $18,904 million USD, 6.0% more compared to the $17,827 million USD exported in 2011 and 1.4% less than the $19,179 million USD exported in 2019. During the past decade there have been several marked increases and decreases.
The United States supplies 70% of Mexico’s agri-food imports. The primary products imported by Mexico are corn ($2,693 MM), soy ($1,895 MM), and wheat ($778 MM).
The United States exports agri-food products to many countries around the world. Historically, Canada and Mexico have been its main markets, due to proximity and the establishment of trade agreements, such as NAFTA/T-MEC.
However, when trade relations with China are good, this country becomes the main destination for the United States’ agricultural exports. For some years there was a decrease in volumes, but in 2019 and 2020 a significant rebound was achieved.