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U.S. Exports to China: Better than Last Year’s, But Still Below Phase I Agreement Levels for 2021

US exports to China in 2021 reached almost $33 billion, a 24.6 percent increase from last year.  As a matter of fact, China has been the largest market for US commodities in the last couple of years surpassing Canada and Mexico.  Moreover, in 2021 China was the number one destination for soybeans, corn, sorghum, cotton, and nuts, accounting for 69 percent of all US commodities exported to China. Although year over year US exports to China have been higher, they still fell short of the agreed amount for 2021 under the Phase 1 agreement.  The chart above shows the monthly cumulative amount of US exports to China for 2012, 2020, 2021, and Phase I 2020 and 2021.  US exports to China in 2012 were the largest amount exported ever before the Phase 1 agreement, around $26 billion, while Phase 1 2020 and 2021 amounts were agreed at $32 and $39 billion, respectively.  The red line represents 2020 exports and the yellow line 2021 exports and both years US exports fell short of reaching 83 and 85 percent of the agreed amount under the Phase 1 agreement (blue and black lines). Although 2020 and 2021 exports fell below the agreed amount, both years marked the largest amount of US exports to China.  Hopefully, this trend continues for 2022 and beyond.

Monthly Cumulative Amount of US Exports to China for 2012, 2020, 2021, and Phase I 2020 and 2021.  

Source: GATS, FAS/USDA

Ribera, Luis. “U.S. Exports to China: Better than Last Year’s, But Still Below Phase I Agreement Levels for 2021“. Southern Ag Today 2(7.4). February 10, 2022. Permalink

Professor and Director
Center for North American Studies
Texas A&M University