China is now No1 importer of U.S. farm and food products
In 2011, China surpassed Canada to become the top U.S. market and it has since retained that position. In fiscal year 2015, U.S. agriculture and related exports to China totaled $25.9 billion, comprising approximately 16 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports.
While the rapid growth in U.S. farm exports to China has plateaued in recent years, many macroeconomic conditions signal the potential for continued long-term growth and trade expansion in China.
An increasingly urban population, a growing middle class, and higher disposable incomes have increased Chinese consumers' ability to diversify their diets and purchase high-value, protein-rich foods.
USDA forecasts a considerable increase in China's imports of coarse grains, soybeans, cotton, beef, and pork by 2024. Furthermore, growth in U.S. exports of horticultural goods, dairy, and alcoholic beverages to China bode well for future opportunities within the consumer-oriented products sector.
Provided the U.S.-China trade partnership remains strong, U.S. agricultural producers are well positioned to capitalize on China's economic development and consumer demand into the foreseeable future.
The value of U.S. agricultural and related exports to China has more than tripled over the last 10 years, reaching a record $29.6 billion in FY 2014 before declining slightly in FY 2015. ■