U.S. agricultural exports to China are projected to total $13 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2020, up from $10.1 billion in fiscal year 2019. This rise in expected exports is primarily due to growth in Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans and pork with expected additional purchases of sorghum and cotton also playing a role. This growth, much of which is expected as a result of relaxed barriers in the U.S.-China trade partnership, is projected to prevail in fiscal year 2020 even considering the fiscal strains brought on by COVID-19.
Portions of China’s economy are anticipated to continue growing while its economy as a whole is still being negatively affected by the global slowdown, especially with respect to international trade. Even amidst the negative economic effects of COVID-19 on China’s consumption of U.S. agricultural goods, China’s purchases of U.S. pork, soybeans, cotton and other products rose in the first half of FY 2020. At this pace, U.S. exports to China are expected to increase by $2.9 billion from FY 2019, when the value of U.S. exports to China had fallen to $9.3 billion (in 2019 dollars)—its lowest point since FY 2009. This chart was drawn from the Economic Research Service’s most recent Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade, published in May 2020.