Agricultural exports are expected to reach a record high of $149.5 billion this fiscal year because of rising volumes as well as increased prices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a new report entitled “Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade” from the Economic Research Service this week.  This estimate is $6.9 billion higher than previous estimates and marks a departure in that it is expected to stem from a 31-percent spike in export volumes. Price increases have driven export numbers in the past, the report notes.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is using the report to make a case for farm bill provisions used to promote exports, noting how each dollar spent in such a way brings back $35 in economic benefits. “USDA will continue to focus its efforts on tapping into new markets for what is grown and made in rural America,” he said in a statement accompanying the report. “Today, only 1 percent of U.S. companies export, and yet 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the borders of the United States, creating significant opportunities for U.S. food and agriculture.”

The complete report is available here.