U.S. pork exports are pegged to set the pace for U.S. agricultural exports to set a record $108.5 billion for fiscal 2008,  USDA''s latest quarterly export forecast.

The current forecast projects a $7.5 billion increase from February''s previous record, and it runs $26.5 billion above 2007''s final export numbers. Grain and animal product exports account for two-thirds of those gains, says USDA.

Livestock, poultry and dairy product exports are forecast at $20.5 billion this year, up $2.5 billion from the February forecast. Pork exports'' strong pace raised its forecast by an estimated $475 million from the February forecast. The reason involves substantial sales heading into China.

China is actually importing more U.S. agricultural exports overall, as forecasts point to a record $10.5 billion, up nearly $3.4 billion from 2007. Canada and Mexico continue to be top two markets for U.S. products. U.S. ag exports to those two nations are forecast to reach $30.5 billion in 2008, that''s $5 billion more than last year.

To read the full USDA report, got to http://www.fas.usda.gov/cmp/outlook/2008/May-08/AES-05-29-2008.pdf. The next quarterly report will be issued at the end of August. 

Source: USDA, Meatingplace.com