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Agri exports to take $15bn hit in 2016

The USDA has revised the forecast for the year, and also expects major grains to be badly affected until 2020.

US agricultural exports are expected to fall 10.5 percent to $125 billion in 2016, according to the USDA.

The agency revised down last year’s projections, with major grains facing the largest cuts.

The USDA has also lowered the forecast for agricultural exports until 2020, with corn exports projected to drop by 15 percent.

Projections for corn exports were lowered by 8.2 million tons in 2017 and 8.8 million tons in the years from 2018 through 2020, a roughly 15 percent reduction in total volume.

The revisions are driven by expectations of slow global GDP growth, particularly in the developing world, falling energy prices and a strong dollar. Meanwhile, the US dollar has appreciated sharply against currencies of its trading partners and competitors, making US goods more expensive in global markets. Falling energy prices have not only suppressed growth in oil producing countries but dampened demand for biofuels.

These trends lead to an atmosphere of weak demand, oversupply and non-competitive prices for US agri goods that is a direct reversal of the environment that led to skyrocketing US agri exports from the mid-2000s to 2014.

The report does not appear to take into account economic impacts from Brexit, which experts have predicted could further hurt US agri exports.