The Top US Exports for Foods & Beverages: A Study by American Trading International (ATI)

Exports for Foods & Beverages

What is Import vs. Export?

The main difference between export and import is that the former involves a form of trade in which a company sells domestically produced goods and services to other countries. And, in the case of the latter, goods and services are bought by company from another part of the world for selling within domestic markets.

Key Insights Into the U.S. Food and Beverage Export Industry

As per the Commerce Department of the US, in 2017 the food and beverage export industry was valued at $133 billion. Soybean was the most exported food product, grossing over $22 billion in sales with poultry and meat standing at $18 billion.

The environment for the food and beverage industry in the country is business-friendly. Things are even better when you add online food ordering, rapid urbanization, and robust food processing technology into the mix.

It’s clear that agricultural trade creates a ton of opportunities in the country for key players like rural communities, agricultural producers, global consumers looking for quality food products; not to mention the whole American economy as well.

For every $1 billion generated by agricultural exports, the country stimulates another series of domestic activities worth over $1.14 billion. It supports over 7,700 full-time jobs in the economy and countless others in related industries like transportation, food processing, etc.

2019’s Top 7 Food and Beverage Exports


Among top US exports, soybean is always leading the way. With over $25.7 billion in export activities, soybean is the country’s #1 agricultural export. In 2020, it accounted for almost 18% of the total US export revenue. China is the biggest market for US soybean export.


In 2020, corn export saw an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. It grossed $9.2 billion in sales; of which $1 billion came from Chinese buyers. The next top corn markets in the world are Japan and Mexico.


America is the world leader in the production of nuts. The main ones include tree nuts like pecans, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. Europe, China, and India are the primary export markets for the US.


Wheat is a heavily subsidized food item in the US. The country exports it in both milled and natural states. The milled form is used for making flour.


The year 2020 saw an 11% increase in pork exports with China witnessing a 75% growth and a 7% increase in Japanese exports. This buoyancy in the Chinese market came as a result of a crash in its herd demand due to the prevalence of African swine fever.


The US happens to be one of the top producers of myriad egg and poultry products. This mainly includes broilers, turkeys, and chickens.


The US exports a ton of food oils with soybean being the #1 export. It also goes by ‘vegetable oil’ for those who don’t recognize ‘soybean oil.’

Dairy Products

Another major US export, dairy products typically entails cow milk products. However, it can sometimes encompass eggs too. Despite the pandemic and its disruptions, dairy production in the country has continued to boom.


The US exports half of all its yearly rice production. The rice export industry creates tons of jobs; mainly in rural areas.


Most US states are landlocked, which limits the seafood production to a select few states that share the boundary with the ocean or a great water body. Fish farming is only common in areas with access to ocean water which aren’t many.

2022 Predictions for US Export (vs 2021)

Experts believe that the first quarter of 2022 is expected to witness a strong growth with new product availability. The customer spending patterns would also be promising. The food export business has an attractive potential for future growth; particularly for packaged foods, health ingredients, various beverages category, and ready-to-consume foods.

The food exports for the US economy during the financial year 2022 are projected to see a record-breaking deal of $177.5 billion, beating the previous year’s forecast by $4 billion.

This rise in export is due to an increase in the production of dairy products, sorghum, and horticultural items; not to mention soybeans. The soybean prices are expected to rise and the country is expecting a high demand for cotton and sorghum.

China is predicted to remain the biggest market for US exports followed by Canada in the North and Mexico in the South.

What is a U.S. Based Export Trading Company?

Export trading companies offer services for companies in the export business. The services can range from shipping, billing, insurance, and warehousing on behalf of the manufacturer/seller.

An export trading company takes care of the entire export process. It navigates the often complex landscape of legal and federal regulations that govern the import/export before goods can leave one country and reach another.

An export trading company must have a strong knowledge of all the national as well as foreign laws around international trade.

What is American Trading International (ATI) & What does it Do?

ATI helps international and domestic companies in the food and beverage industry. It does so by helping them find import and export opportunities across both new and existing marketplaces. The company was established in 1995 in California.

It’s a leading intermediary between North America’s food manufacturers and their counterparts overseas. American Trading International is equipped with a deep knowledge of both national and international laws concerning import and export. It also offers logistics services like warehousing, shipping, storage, and everything in-between.

With such deep knowledge and a philosophy rooted in global growth, ATI helps companies find the right enterprising opportunities. It connects import-ready counterparts with their export-ready manufacturers.


Export trading companies like the ATI play a crucial role in any country’s economy and GDP. ATI has been exporting American foods and beverages to over 80 countries and markets worldwide since 1995 and continues to do so to this day.

For information on American Trading International (ATI), visit us at  Interested in working together? Call us at +1 (310) 445-2000 or reach out at

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