Idaho ag exports

Idaho ag exports

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Idaho set a record for total value of agricultural exports last year, even as total U.S. ag export value declined 10 percent from 2022.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data released in early February, $1.18 billion worth of Idaho agricultural products were exported to other countries in 2023. That represents a 4 percent increase over the previous record of $1.13 billion set in 2022.

Idaho has now set a record for total ag export value three years in a row according to the Census Bureau data.

The 2022 record eclipsed the 2021 total of $1.02 billion, which tied a record set in 2014.

The Census Bureau data shows that total U.S. ag export value reached $191 billion in 2023, which was a 10 percent decrease from the 2022 record.

The U.S. Census Bureau ag export value data is released monthly. A separate set of data released annually by USDA in the fall shows Idaho set ag export value records in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The USDA data for 2023 will be released in early November.

The Census Bureau data is based on what state a commodity is exported from, so it doesn’t capture all of Idaho farm product exports. For example, it wouldn’t capture the wheat from Idaho that is exported out of Portland.

The USDA data, which shows Idaho sold $2.89 billion worth of ag products in 2022, captures more of the state’s farm exports but is not as timely as the Census Bureau data, which is released monthly.

However, both sets of data track closely when it comes to percentage increases and decreases.

The recent Census Bureau data shows that $383 million worth of ag products from Idaho were sold to Canada in 2023 – a 6 percent increase over 2022 – making that nation the top destination for Idaho ag products.

Mexico was second at $246 million, which was a 47 percent increase over 2022. China ranked No. 3 ($108 million, 14 percent decrease), followed by Japan ($69 million, 12 percent increase) and South Korea ($52 million, 35 percent decrease).

Idaho’s top ag export to China last year was whey and the total value of whey exports from Idaho to China in 2023 reached $35 million, which was a 43 percent decline compared with 2022. This was in part due to reduced demand for feed whey from China’s struggling pig sector, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Dairy ranked as the state’s top agricultural export last year at $255 million, but that represented an 18 percent decrease compared with 2022.

According to the U.S. Dairy Export Council, total U.S. dairy export value in 2023 was down 16 percent from the record year of 2022. Both U.S. dairy export value and volume decreased in 2023.

Some of the main factors in the decrease of U.S. dairy exports, according to USDEC, included elevated inflation, disappointing economic growth in key export markets, particularly China, and increased milk output from the European Union and New Zealand, which are the U.S. dairy industry’s two main export competitors.

Idaho in 2023 sold $155 million worth of prepared vegetables, a category that includes French fries. That was a 74 percent increase in that category vs. 2022.

Idaho exports of oil seed products totaled $123 million in 2023, a 2 percent increase over 2022, and Idaho exports of edible vegetables, a category that includes fresh potatoes, rose 1 percent to $120 million.

Idaho exports of a category that includes malt totaled $113 million in 2023, which was a 39 percent increase vs. 2022. This category includes malt produced from barley that is used in the beer-brewing process. Most of Idaho’s malt is sold to Mexico.

Idaho sales of live animals hit another record in 2023 at $94 million, which was a 15 percent increase compared with 2022. Most of those animals were cows sold to Canada.

Previous ReportFarmers' life
Next ReportLeaves and climate