Feb 8, 2022
Total of ’21 vegetable exports returned to near pre-pandemic levels

Exports of the U.S. agricultural industry totaled a record $177 billion in 2021, reported the USDA on Feb. 8.

Export totals were 18% percent higher than in 2020 and 14.6% higher than the previous record year, which was 2014.

“These record-breaking trade numbers demonstrate that U.S. 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 through a statement. “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.”

While the USDA report did not break down specialty crops individually, it did offer totals for fresh vegetables and processed vegetables. Exports of fresh vegetables totaled $2.607 billion, which was up from 2020’s $2.565 billion but below 2019’s $2.693 billion.

Processed vegetables totaled $2.808 billion in 2021, up from $2.613 in 2020, but down from 2017-19 totals, which were $2.913 billion, $2.827 billion and $2.848 billion, respectively.

On the agricultural whole, the U.S.’s top 10 export markets all saw gains in 2021, with six of the 10 — China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines and Colombia — setting new records. Worldwide exports of many U.S. products, including soybeans, corn, beef, pork, dairy, distillers grains and pet food, also reached all-time highs. China remained the top export destination, with a record $33 billion in purchases, up 25 percent from 2020, while Mexico inched ahead of Canada to capture the number two position with a record $25.5 billion, up 39% from last year.

For a detailed summary of 2021 U.S. agricultural exports by market, view the 2021 U.S. agricultural exports by market summary.

For a detailed summary of 2021 U.S. agricultural exports by product, view the 2021 U.S. agricultural exports by product summary.


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