Economic analysis: Grain exports offer billions in benefits beyond the farm
WASHINGTON – A new study shows access to international export markets for U.S. grains supported nearly $38 billion in business sales in the U.S. economy during 2016 beyond the value of the products themselves.
The analysis commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council and the National Corn Growers Association found a total economic impact of U.S. grains exports of $55 billion that year, supporting 271,000 jobs directly or indirectly. These sales supported U.S. gross domestic product by $19 billion over what would have occurred without such exports.
The analysis dives deep into the benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation as a whole derived from overseas sales driven by strong trade policy and robust in-country market development for grains and grains products.
“Every sale counts for farmers, especially in this market, and this analysis shows just how much the grain sector is supported by regular and growing purchases from our overseas customers,” said Jim Stitzlein, the council’s chairman. “These numbers out today take the analysis one step further to look at the whole economy, in our rural and farm communities but also in cities where people have jobs transporting, processing and shipping ag products.”
Informa Agribusiness Consulting conducted the study, which examined the economic contributions to each state and 52 congressional districts from exports of corn, barley, sorghum, ethanol, distiller’s dried grains with solubles, corn gluten feed and meal as well as the corn equivalent of meat on the U.S. economy. The new study is an update to similar research done with 2014 and 2015 data, showing similar results.
Breaking down the numbers, these results showed every $1 of grain exports supported an additional $2.20 in business sales. Every job directly created by the export of grain and grain products supported an additional 3.9 jobs in the United States.
These indirect and induced business activities extend well beyond the agricultural industry, including the wholesale trade, real estate, oil and natural gas and service sectors.
“While corn growers can see first-hand the value our product provides to our local communities, this study demonstrates the positive economic impact we provide beyond our fields. Breaking the data down into individual states and Congressional districts will help us better inform legislators as we advocate for new market opportunities for U.S. corn,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp.
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