One month of pandemic
Overall, the U.S. had a negative ag trade balance of $501 million in March 2020, down sharply from March 2019, when the balance was positive $70 million. March 2020’s year-over-year decline was fueled by a 1% decrease in exports, while imports rose 3%. On a regional basis, the U.S. saw a decline in net exports in all regions, except for South Asia. In many regions, both exports and imports in March 2020 were higher than in March 2019, though the growth in imports outpaced exports. For example, in North America, U.S. exports rose $179 million, while imports rose $262 million, leading to a net export loss of $83 million in March 2020 compared to March 2019. Unsurprisingly, the region with the largest decline in net exports was East Asia, which includes China.