Agriculture exports totaled $140.5 billion in fiscal year 2017, climbing nearly $10.9 billion from the previous year to the third-highest level on record, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
The Department of Agriculture announced the findings Thursday, saying that as it has done for well over 50 years, the U.S. agricultural sector once again posted an annual trade surplus. The trade surplus reached $21.3 billion, up almost 30 percent from last year’s $16.6 billion.
China finished the fiscal year as the United States’ largest export customer, with shipments valued at $22 billion, followed closely by Canada at $20.4 billion. U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico reached $18.6 billion, a six percent gain from last year, while exports to Japan grew 12 percent, to $11.8 billion. USDA says exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, also driving rural economic activity and supporting more than one million American jobs both on and off the farm.