USDA issued its quarterly Ag Trade Outlook report on Feb. 20, and dairy exports for fiscal year 2014 (FY ’14) are expected to climb to another record high. Projected dairy exports for FY ’14 (Oct. 2013-September 2014) were raised $400 million from the previous forecast, to $6.3 billion, as strong global demand continues to support high prices.

U.S. dairy exports were valued at $6.13 billion in FY ’13.

The stronger U.S. economy in 2014 is also expected to lift U.S. import demand at the same time U.S. exports rise. The FY ’14 U.S. dairy import forecast was raised $100 million, to $3.2 billion. The forecast for FY ’14 cheese imports was unchanged at $1.3 billion.

Global income growth and lower U.S. energy prices are positive factors for the U.S. agricultural trade outlook. And while the dollar is projected to appreciate 1.3% in 2014 on top of 2013's gain, the continued low value of the dollar compared to 2000-10 will combine to further support U.S. farm and manufacturing export growth in 2014.

Overall, the FY ’14 forecast for agricultural exports was raised $5.6 billion from December’s forecast, to a record $142.6 billion, strengthened by exports of corn and soybeans and beef.

U.S. agricultural imports for fiscal year 2014 are forecast at $110 billion, which is up slightly from the December estimate. The forecast trade balance in FY ’14, up $5.1 billion from December to $32.6 billion, but still trails the FY ’14 surplus of $37.1 billion.