WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Feb. 8, the Department of Commerce announced the exports of US farm and food products totaled $177 billion, an increase of 18% from 2020. According to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, this is the highest annual export level ever recorded, far surpassing the previous record in 2014 by 14.6%.

“These record-breaking trade numbers demonstrate that US agriculture is incredibly resilient as it continues to provide high-quality, cost-competitive farm and food products to customers around the globe and that the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda is working for American farmers and producers,” Vilsack said. “This is a major boost for the economy as a whole, and particularly for our rural communities, with agricultural exports stimulating local economic activity, helping maintain our competitive edge globally, supporting producers’ bottom lines, and supporting more than 1.3 million jobs on the farm and in related industries such as food processing and transportation.”

All top 10 export markets for the United States witnessed increases in 2021 and set new records, including from China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines, Colombia and others. Exports of US soybeans, corn, beef, pork, dairy, distillers, grains and pet food also saw all-time highs. The US’s top export destination continues to be China at $33 billion, a 25% increase from 2020, with Mexico in second place at $25.5 billion, a 39% increase from 2020, surpassing Canada.

According to the Department of Commerce, dog and cat food exports for 2021 set a record at $2.05 billion, which increased by 19.8% from 2020.

“It’s clear that our international trading partners are responding favorably to a return to certainty from the United States,” Vilsack said. “We owe our thanks to America’s agricultural producers who always work hard to be reliable global suppliers and the Biden-Harris Administration, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are fighting hard on their behalf to keep our home-grown products moving around the world.

“We’re strengthening relationships with our trading partners and holding those partners accountable for their commitments,” he continued. “We’re addressing transportation and infrastructure challenges through the work of the administration’s supply chain task force and calling out ocean carriers that are putting profits above their responsibility to serve both importers and exporters. And we’re expanding opportunities for agricultural exports by knocking down trade barriers and partnering with industry on marketing and promotion efforts worldwide.”

Read the full export breakdown.

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