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Largest Importers of U.S. Agricultural Products

agricultural products

Largest Importers of U.S. Agricultural Products

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. agricultural and related exports totaled $162 billion in 2020, the third-highest total on record. The U.S.’s top agricultural export partners have shifted over the years, from Western Europe and Russia to South and East Asia, Latin America, and North Africa. A growing world population and expanding middle class in developing countries suggest that U.S. agriculture will remain in high demand looking ahead.

Total U.S. agricultural and related goods exports peaked in 2014 at over $170 billion. The following year, the value dropped by 12% due to a significant appreciation of the U.S. dollar; agriculture exports remained fairly constant after that. Tariffs imposed during the Trump administration resulted in retaliatory tariffs by important trade partners, which impacted U.S. agricultural exports to those countries, particularly to China. However, the impact on total agricultural exports was minimal, in part due to increased exports to other non-retaliating countries.

Since 1980, consumer-oriented goods have made up an increasingly large share of U.S. agricultural exports. Consumer-oriented agricultural products are higher-value goods destined for direct consumer consumption, and include things like meat, eggs, fruit, and vegetables. This trend is due in part to changing consumer preferences resulting from rising incomes globally. Many developing countries—including China, Mexico, and Indonesia—are important trade partners to the U.S., and rising household incomes in these countries have led to increased demand for higher-value products such as meat, dairy, and fresh produce. Bulk goods make up the second-largest share of U.S. agricultural exports and include products like grains, oilseeds, and cotton.

While the U.S. and Europe have historically been the world’s largest importers and exporters of agricultural goods, emerging economies are becoming increasingly important to global trade. On a regional basis, East Asia—which includes China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan—is the largest importer of U.S. agricultural products, accounting for 34% of all U.S. agricultural exports in 2020. Southeast Asia—which includes Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia—is now the third-largest importer of U.S. agricultural products, behind North America and ahead of the European Union. For context, Southeast Asia ranked seventh in 1990.

To find the largest importers of U.S. agricultural products, researchers at Commodity.com analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The researchers ranked countries according to the total value of U.S. agricultural products that each country imports. Researchers also calculated each country’s value as a share of total U.S. agricultural exports, the top U.S. agricultural product exported to each country, and other detailed statistics.

Here are the biggest importers of U.S. agricultural products.

Country
Rank
Total value of U.S. agricultural exports to country
Country’s value as a share of total U.S. agricultural exports
Top U.S. agricultural product exported to country
Bulk total value
Intermedial total value
Consumer-oriented total value
Agricultural related total value
China

 

  1 $28,750,288,000    17.7% Soybeans $19,132,864,000  $1,872,701,000  $5,393,904,000  $2,350,819,000
Canada   2  $25,414,534,000    15.7% Bakery Goods, Cereals, & Pasta

 

$1,023,675,000  $4,160,305,000  $17,093,000,000  $3,137,555,000
Mexico

 

  3  $18,962,080,000    11.7% Corn $6,132,761,000  $3,914,580,000  $8,288,950,000  $625,787,000
Japan   4  $12,887,108,000    8.0% Beef & Beef Products

 

$3,966,270,000  $1,377,563,000  $6,371,574,000  $1,171,700,000
South Korea   5  $8,241,801,000    5.1% Beef & Beef Products

 

$1,604,410,000  $1,560,234,000  $4,541,906,000  $535,251,000
Vietnam

 

  6  $3,744,450,000    2.3% Cotton $1,790,124,000  $643,589,000  $928,273,000  $382,465,000
Netherlands   7  $3,741,523,000    2.3% Soybeans $1,158,135,000  $965,926,000  $1,221,265,000  $396,197,000
Taiwan   8  $3,349,146,000    2.1% Soybeans $1,194,534,000  $350,236,000  $1,729,362,000  $75,015,000
Philippines   9  $3,230,646,000    2.0% Soybean Meal $919,558,000  $1,182,673,000  $1,107,535,000  $20,881,000
Indonesia   10  $2,897,691,000    1.8% Soybeans $1,486,644,000  $682,172,000  $654,523,000  $74,352,000
Colombia   11  $2,881,065,000    1.8% Corn

 

$1,305,913,000  $923,885,000  $632,865,000  $18,402,000
United Kingdom   12  $2,740,498,000    1.7% Forest Products

 

$119,602,000  $506,820,000  $1,100,002,000  $1,014,074,000
Hong Kong   13  $2,182,661,000    1.3% Beef & Beef Products

 

$31,654,000  $89,541,000  $1,911,321,000  $150,145,000
Egypt   14  $1,920,256,000    1.2% Soybeans $1,509,877,000  $180,781,000  $204,093,000  $25,506,000
Thailand   15  $1,900,352,000    1.2% Soybeans $868,546,000  $508,351,000  $398,499,000  $124,957,000

 

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Commodity.com’s website: https://commodity.com/blog/us-agricultural-importers/