The USA exported agricultural goods to China with a record value of US$36.4bn in the 2022 fiscal year, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data reported by AgriCensus.

Overtaking the previous year’s record, the volumes make China the largest export market for the USA for the second consecutive year, according to the 9 January report.

Higher global commodity prices and strong demand helped drive US exports above the previous year’s record, despite lower volumes for most products, the USDA said in its latest International Agricultural Trade Report.

The Phase One trade agreement introduced by former US President Donald Trump had also reduced or removed technical and non-technical barriers for several products, including poultry and beef.

At a record US$16.4bn, soyabean sales were 16% higher than the previous year and accounted for nearly 50% of US agricultural exports to China.

China is the world’s largest soyabean importer and processor, consuming nearly 120M tonnes/year of soyabeans and importing nearly 60% of the global soyabean trade.

By 2023, China will have accumulated 65% of the world’s corn and 53% of its wheat exports, according to USDA forecasts.

China was home to around 20% of the global population but only had about 7% of the world’s arable land, which was expected to decrease by 6% between 2010 and 2060, amid urbanisation and soil and water pollution, the report said.

As a result, the country relied more on imports, making it one of the world’s largest wheat importers and the main barley, corn and oilseed importer, AgriCensus wrote.