Exports of U.S. agricultural products during fiscal year (FY) 2009 are expected to total $95.5 billion, which is down from the November estimate of $98.5 billion. Also, this is 17.2 per cent lower than 2008. During 2009, exports of livestock products are predicted to reach $11.9 billion, down from the November forecast of $12.9 billion.

Part of the revision comes from cattle hide shipments, which are forecast to decline $150 million as Asian tanners supplying automobile producers face sluggish car sales. Additionally, this was down 9.9 per cent from 2008. The major cause of the decline is weaker demand as the result of the global economic crisis.

Exports of beef and veal during 2009 are forecast at 600,000 MT, unchanged from the prior forecast. The value of beef and veal exports during 2009 is expected to total $2.7 billion, unchanged from the November estimate. U.S. pork exports during 2009 are projected to total 1.3 MMT, down from the previous forecast of 1.5 MMT. The value of pork exports is expected to total $3.4 billion, compared to the prior estimate of $4.0 billion. The revision is based on a weaker global economy and a strong dollar.

Meanwhile, U.S. imports of agricultural products during FY 2009 are forecast at $82.5 billion, up from the November forecast of $81.0 billion. Also, this is 4.0 per cent greater than 2008. The value of livestock, dairy and poultry imports during 2009 is expected to equal $11.3 billion, down from the previous estimate of $12.0 billion. Also, this is down 7.2 per cent from 2008. During 2009, imports of livestock and meats are predicted at $8.0 billion, down from the November forecast of $8.4 billion.

Also, this is down 8.1 per cent from 2008. Imports of cattle and calves during 2009 are forecast at 2.0 million head, unchanged from the previous forecast. The value of imports of cattle and calves is expected to total $1.4 billion, down from the prior estimate of $1.5 billion due to a decline in live cattle imports from Canada. During 2009, swine imports are forecast at 7.5 million head, up from the November estimate of 7.4 million head. The value of swine imports is forecast to total $400 million, compared to the previous forecast of $500 million.

Fresh beef and veal imports during 2009 are predicted to equal 900,000 MT, up from the November estimate of 800,000 MT as low U.S. cow slaughter will increase demand for beef. The value is forecast at $3.1 billion, up from the prior forecast of $3.0 billion. During 2009, fresh pork imports are expected to total 300,000 MT, compared to the previous estimate of 400,000 MT. The value is forecast at $1.0 billion, down from the November forecast of $1.1 billion.