The U.S. is set to post the smallest agricultural trade surplus since 2006, with costlier imports shrinking the difference between the value of exports and inbound shipments.
The trade surplus is projected to total $5.2 billion in the fiscal year that ended in September, according to a government report updated Nov. 20. Imported fruits and vegetables were more expensive than expected, and exports of corn and soybeans were lower than earlier projections, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
In general, while overseas shipments of agriculture have been increasing in value since 2016, inbound crops have been getting costlier more quickly. Agriculture exports in the 2019 fiscal are expected to total $134.5 billion, with imports at $129.3 billion, according to the USDA.
An initial forecast for the 2020 fiscal year anticipates a recovery, with a surplus of $8 billion. Exports may be around $137 billion and imports at $129 billion, according to the USDA.