The value of U.S. exports in 2012 will grow at twice the rate of GDP, with the value of outbound shipments expected to expand 5 to 6 percent, said a Moffatt & Nichol analyst.
Walter Kemmsies, chief economist at the port design and engineering consultant, said he expects U.S. GDP to grow 2.5 to 3 percent this year. Kemmsies said the export of agriculture products, particularly of oil seeds and grains, could drive the next U.S. economic cycle.
“As people move from rural to urban areas to take high-paying jobs,” he said. “their diets tend to become more protein-oriented, in particular beef, and they want better clothing.”
U.S agriculture exports have been key to President Obama's push to double exports by the end of the 2015. American farmers exported roughly $135.5 billion in products abroad last year, a 17 percent increase from 2010.
Farm exports, including grains, meat and beverages, in 2010 were valued at $118.8 billion, up 15 percent from 2009, according to figures from the U.S. Commerce Department. They have grown at an average annual rate of 2.6 percent since 2004.