The Department of Agriculture is projecting a $1.9 billion drop in exports this year, led by a decline in trade with China. While talks remain ongoing between China and the United States, USDA during its 95th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum Thursday predicted 2019 fiscal year exports at $141.5 billion. USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson told attendees China is expected to fall from the top market for U.S. exports in 2017, to the fifth largest market in 2019, pending the outcome of trade talks.
The U.S. so far in 2019 has exported 13.5 million metric tons less of soybeans than the same time last year, according to Reuters. Meanwhile, USDA is forecasting record milk and animal protein production. USDA also predicts soybean plantings will decline this year as corn plantings increase. Corn plantings for the year are predicted at 92 million acres, up 3.3 percent from 2018, and soybean plantings are predicted at 85 million acres, down 4.7 percent from last year.