Almond prices boost US exports

Related tags Import

Agricultural exports are forecast at $63.5 billion for 2006, up
$1.5 billion from the revised 2005 estimate, says new report from
US department of agriculture.

Higher unit values and volumes for many products have boosted horticultural products by $1.4 billion.

Rising $600 million, almonds account for nearly half the increase.

Large gains are also expected for wine, essential oils, and highly processed fruit and vegetable products.

Reduced competition will increase grain volumes, but lower wheat prices will limit overall value increase, claims the report, with little change in soybean volume expected given the record demand from China.

" A weak dollar and moderate global economic growth support this outlook,"​ adds the report​.

On imparts, the department of agriculture said the pace of import shipments during the third quarter of fiscal year 2005 was slower than expected, lowering total U.S. agricultural imports for the year to $57.5 billion, $1 billion less than the May projection.

Despite the smaller import forecast, this is still a 9 per cent jump from the $52.7 billion in 2004.

The initial import forecast for fiscal year 2006 is $61 billion, an increase of $3.5 billion from 2005, or 6 per cent higher.

Import products that experienced healthy growth in 2005,included fruits, vegetables, red meats, coffee, dairy products, and wine.

The first three quarters of fiscal 2005 showed that import prices increased faster than import volumes, which reflects a slowing effect of prices on volumes.

Over half of the projected rise in total import value in 2005 can be attributed tohigher prices.

Higher petroleum prices and a lower value of the dollar lifted transport costs for shippers and importers.

Income and employment gains, relatively low interest rates, diversification of diets, and population growth ( a long term driver) also pushed up agricultural imports.

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