USA – The US agricultural and related products exported to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) reached a record US$40.9 billion in 2022, an increase of 14.5%, according to the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service GAIN report.

According to the report, growth was mainly driven by a 22.1% year-on-year rise in value of exports of bulk commodities.

The top five leading bulk exports reported were soybeans (US$17.9 billion, 30.4 MMT), corn ($5.2 billion, 16.1 MMT), cotton (US$2.9 billion, 1.2 MMT), coarse grains (US$1.8 billion, 5.2 MMT), and wheat (US$394 million, 875 thousand MT)

Additionally, the GAIN report revealed that PRC became the top destination for U.S. agricultural and related product exports for the third consecutive year beating top destinations like Canada (US$33.3 billion), Mexico (US$29.6 billion), Japan (US$16.2 billion), and South Korea (US$10 billion).

However, the overall volume of bulk exports from the United States to the PRC decreased by 3 percent from 55.6 million metric tons (MMT) to 53.8 MMT as higher commodity prices impacted volumes.

The export values reached were a result of China’s significant effort to rebuild the market for US agriculture since 2018 when exports were US$13.2 billion according to GAIN prediction.

Positively, the highlight outlined that PRC’s food and agricultural system was largely resilient amid various global trade disruptions to become the largest market for U.S. agricultural and related exports.

The system overcame Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), PRC domestic policy controls (e.g., the PRC’s Zero-COVID policies that resulted in large lockdowns and extra costs and delays to trade), other logistics challenges (e.g., higher freight rates and container availability), and, consequentially, higher commodity prices.

Still, the resilience was backed up by food security and agricultural sustainability agenda that remained critically important issues to the PRC agricultural and agricultural policy sector which continues to place added emphasis.

Consumer-oriented products play an important role

In addition, “consumer-oriented” products like beef, pork, poultry, dairy, and tree nuts played an increasingly important role in the export value.

US beef exports to China reached a record 244 thousand MT at a value of US$2.2 billion, making it the most sought-after consumer-oriented export to China.

Other notable ones were poultry (US$1.1 billion, 626 thousand MT), and dairy (US$801 million, 486 thousand MT).

Dog and cat food registered the most significant growth in 2022 due to a growing number of pet owners in the PRC feeding imported products to their animals, according to the report.

The value and volume of U.S. pet food exports climbed from US$72.3 million to US$264.1 million YOY and from 19 thousand MT to nearly 61 thousand MT YOY.

However, the value and volume of U.S. intermediate agricultural exports including feed grains and oilseeds to the PRC declined.

In 2022, the U.S. imported US$9.5 billion in agricultural and related products from the PRC, a 9.5% increase from 2021.

Despite growing US exports, the largest overall supplier by value to the PRC, using China Customs data, remains Brazil which exported some US$52.9 worth of agricultural goods in 2022.

The US takes the second position followed by, New Zealand ($14.6 billion), Thailand ($14.1 billion), and Indonesia ($13.8 billion)

Overall, the PRC imported $261.4 billion in agricultural and related products from the world while PRC exports were $108.9 billion.

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