Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Tuesday, November 23rd
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted that imports of farm products next year would equal exports, marking the first time since the late 1950s that the country failed to run an annual agricultural surplus.That's a $27.3 billion swing in eight years!
As recently as 1996, the U.S. sold $27.3 billion more in farm products than it imported, the largest annual surplus on record.
The agency said the steep rise in agricultural imports was "the result of higher prices of popular value-added products." Two-thirds of the increase in farm imports since 2002, the USDA said, came from seven categories of goods: "essential oils" used in food- and beverage-processing, snack foods, wine and beer, red meats, processed fruits and vegetables, fresh vegetables and miscellaneous grocery products.
The vast majority of those products – around 75% – came from the European Union, Mexico, Canada, China, Indonesia, Brazil and Australia, the USDA said