U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year (l'any fiscal) 2006, the year that ended on September 30, were a record $68.7 mIL mILIONS, an increase of 9.9 percent over 2005. Imports increased by 10.9 percent to a record $64.0 mIL mILIONS. U.S. agricultural exports and imports reflect that the U.S. is part of a world-wide food system as markets respond to consumers demands for food and other agricultural products.

The Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA categorizes exports and imports into bulk, intermediate and consumer oriented. Bulk commodities include unprocessed grains, oilseeds and tobacco. Intermediate products are processed products like wheat flour, vegetable oils and meals, live animals, hides and skins and sweeteners. Consumer-oriented products include meat, poultry and dairy products, fruites, vegetables and tree nuts. For FY2006, bulk commodity exports were $25.7 mIL mILIONS, 37.4 percent of agricultural exports; intermediate product exports were $13.6 mIL mILIONS, 19.8 per cent; and consumer-oriented products were $29.4 mIL mILIONS, 42.8 per cent.

For the seven years of the 21st century, consumer-oriented exports have shown the most consistent growth, while bulk export values have been the most volatile. In FY2000, consumer-oriented exports were $21.5 mIL mILIONS, 42.3 percent of total agricultural exports. After a slight increase the next year and a slight decline the year after that, exports grew rapidly to the FY2006 total of $29.4 mIL mILIONS. Bulk exports in FY2000 were $18.6 mIL mILIONS, 36.6 percent of total exports. They peaked at $26.9 billion in FY2004 before falling in FY2005 and recovering some in FY2006. Based on the current higher market prices for grains and oil seeds, bulk export values in FY2007 should easily exceed the FY2004 level. Intermediate exports were $10.7 billion in FY2000, 21.1 percent of exports. They increased to $12.5 billion in FY2002, flattened out for a few years and increased to $13.6 billion for FY2006.

U.S. imports of agricultural products in FY2006 were mostly consumer-oriented products at $42.2 mIL mILIONS, 65.9 percent of total imports, basically unchanged from 66.1 percent in FY2000. Bulk imports were $8.9 billion in FY2006, 13.8 percent of the total, des 16.2 percent in FY2000. The two largest increases over those years were rubber and allied products increasing from $852 million to $1.96 billion in FY2006, and raw sugar increasing from $446 million to $910 milió, with most of that increase occurring last year. Intermediate product imports almost doubled over the six years from $6.9 billion in FY2000, 17.7 percent of agricultural imports, per $12.9 billion in FY2006, 20.1 percent of imports. Imports of tropical oils, essential oils and other vegetable oils increased from $1.7 a mil milions $5.1 mIL mILIONS; live animal imports increased from $1.8 a mil milions $2.5 mIL mILIONS; and sugars and sweeteners increased from $271 million to $997 milió.

U.S. trade is concentrated in a few regions and countries. Most important are our NAFTA partners with agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico of $22.0 billion in FY2006, 32.0 percent of total exports, and imports of $22.5 mIL mILIONS, 35.2 percent of total imports. Central and South America plus the Caribbean had U.S. exports of $6.1 billion and imports to the U.S. de $11.2 mIL mILIONS. After NAFTA, the EU-25 is the largest exporter of agricultural products to the U.S. a $14.0 mIL mILIONS, amb 67.6 percent being consumer oriented products. Beer and wine together account for $4.4 mIL mILIONS. U.S. exports to the EU-25 were $7.1 mIL mILIONS, led by tree nuts with $1.6 mIL mILIONS.

Asia as a region was the largest export market for U.S. agricultural products in FY2006 at $25.0 mIL mILIONS, 36.4 percent of total exports, and had exports to the U.S. de $9.4 mIL mILIONS. Japan was the largest market in Asia in FY2006 at $8.2 mIL mILIONS, 11.9 percent of total U.S. exportacions, with the four highest valued groupings being course grains at $2.0 mIL mILIONS, fruites, vegetables and tree nuts at $1.2 mIL mILIONS, red meats at $1.1 billion and soybeans at $865 milió. U.S. exports to China in FY2006 were $6.7 mIL mILIONS, amb $4.8 billion being bulk items led by soybeans at $2.4 billion and cotton at $2.3 mIL mILIONS. Hides and skins were the one intermediate product of note at $767 milió. Agricultural imports from China were $2.1 billion with fruits, vegetables and juices the largest grouping at $850 milió. Agricultural exports to Korea were $2.7 billion and imports from them were only $214 milió.

Exports of some major U.S. agricultural products are concentrated in just a few countries. In FY2006, China took 49.6 per cent de U.S. cotton exports; Turkey was the next largest at 10.9 per cent. China also accounted for 38.0 per cent de U.S. soybean exports, followed by Mexico at 13.9 percent and Japan at 12.6 per cent. Japans U.S. corn imports were 29.4 percent of total U.S. exportacions, followed by Mexico at 12.0 percent and Korea 10.3 per cent. U.S. wheat exports were evenly divided among the primary countries with Japan at 11.7 per cent, Nigeria at 11.4 percent and Mexico at 9.5 per cent.

After the NAFTA countries and the EU, the largest exporters of agricultural products to the U.S. were Australia at $2.4 mIL mILIONS, Brasil $2.2 billion and Indonesia $2.0 mIL mILIONS. Meat and animal products accounted for $1.4 billion of Australias exports followed by wine at $754 milió. Brazils biggest exports to the U.S. were coffee at $563 million and meat and animal products at $418 milió. Over half of Indonesia exports were rubber and allied products. Mexico and Chile were the largest exporters of fruit to the U.S. a $1.4 billion and $1.2 mIL mILIONS, respectively. The largest exporters of vegetables to the U.S. were Mexico at $3.2 billion and Canada at $1.7 mIL mILIONS.

Agricultural trade policy is not just about U.S. producers marketing to the rest of the world. U.S. consumers have also chosen to use the global food supply market to improve food variety and reduce costs.