Broiler exports for fiscal year 2013 are forecast to be $4.0 billion, unchanged from fiscal year 2012, according to the “Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade” report issued jointly by USDA’s Economic Research Service and Foreign Agricultural Service. In fiscal year 2011 broiler exports totaled $3.541 billion.  Poultry exports for fiscal year 2013 are forecast to be $6.2 billion compared with $6.3 billion in fiscal year 2012 and $5.481 billion in fiscal year 2011.  Analysts explained the expected decline in fiscal year 2013 results from “higher unit values and tighter exportable supplies.”  Poultry exports to Mexico, Canada, and Angola, however, are expected by USDA to “remain strong.”  Fiscal year 2013 exports for the combined category of livestock, poultry, and dairy are forecast marginally lower ($200 million) at $29.9 billion when compared with fiscal year 2012’s $30.1 billion.

For overall total agricultural exports for fiscal year 2013, USDA is projecting a record $143.5 billion, 5.1 percent above the $136.5 billion in fiscal year 2012.  Grain and feed exports are expected up, driven largely by higher wheat volume and value, but also supported by higher corn unit values. The forecast for oilseeds is up from 2012 based on record soybean and soybean meal prices attributed to tight exportable supplies.

Regarding macroeconomic factors affecting U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2013, the report noted that world economic growth this year is forecast to slow to 2.2 percent. Manufacturing expansion has slowed sharply in United States and the developing economies in the first eight months of 2012. The dollar is expected to appreciate modestly this year. The dollar has strengthened, as a Eurozone recession coupled with uncertainty about the evolving Euro debt situation induced a flow into dollar-based assets. Asian growth is projected to slow as the European export markets are drying up. North and South American growth are expected to partly offset the European recession’s impact on developing economies exports.

Monetary authorities in both the developed and developing world have been loosening measures as growth has slowed. In the developing world, prior tight credit, currency appreciation, and a continuing recession in the Euro zone are slowing growth prospects and will provide a drag on higher world growth in early 2013. China is expected to have faster export growth, but rising wages, and reluctance by both households and businesses to increase borrowing may curtail the impact of easing credit policies. Brazil, due to strong export growth and higher investment, is expected to see faster growth in 2013. The main risk to world growth in 2013 is a significant spillover of the Eurozone problem to North American and Asian financial institutions and markets, the report explained.

Despite a forecast for a modest appreciation in 2012 and 2013, the dollar will be relatively weak dollar. That and low interest rates, provide continued inexpensive credit for financing trade. Overall world trade growth is expected to be 4 to 5 percent in 2013. Higher expected world growth, lower energy prices, and more available credit make the outlook for U.S. agricultural trade promising in 2013. A modest appreciation of the dollar will have little effect on trade in 2013, analysts concluded.