It appears the forecasted demise of the US trade surplus in agriculture is indeed coming to fruition.
Slumping prices and aggressive competition mean the US will import as much food in 2005 as it sells overseas, government figures say.What exactly again is the US going to sell in exchange for all the imported cars and consumer goods? Oh, that's right, our homes (via Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae agency bonds) and our government debt. We simply can't reel in either the housing bubble or the budget deficit. Our Wal-Mart economy demands it!
The Department of Agriculture report suggests exports will fall about 10% to about $56bn (�30bn), while imports grow 3.3% to reach the same level.
The US has been a net exporter of foodstuffs for almost half a century.
Canada is the only country thought likely to buy more US goods, with China showing the biggest fall in sales.
Cotton and soybeans are likely to be the biggest victims of a $1.5bn reduction in Chinese demand, the report's authors said.
Soybean sales the world over were predicted to fall almost 15%, as competition from Brazil and other countries hots up, while Russia - once a lucrative customer - is now a rival in the wheat trade.