Ag Policy Blog

Breaking Down NAFTA Ag Sales by State

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Corn exports by state in 2016 to NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico. (map courtesy of the American Farm Bureau Federation)

Amid suggestions from the Canadian government that the Trump administration could continue pushing to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, the American Farm Bureau Federation released a breakdown of commodity sales for 48 states under the trade agreement.

The report looks at 2016 exports, showing Canada and Mexico accounted for $2,65 billion in U.S. corn exports, or roughly 27% of all corn exports, dominated largely by $2.5 billion in sales to Mexico. NAFTA sales accounted for 95% to 100% of corn exports in Plains states such as Kansas, Nebraska, South and North Dakota.


Mexico was the second largest market for U.S. soybean sales in 2016 at $1.5 billion. While soybean exports are dominated by shipments to China, sales to NAFTA countries represented 7% of U.S. soybean exports. Again, Plain states dominated those sales, though 88% of Missouri soybean exports, 60% of Michigan soybean exports, 55% from Iowa and 54% from Mexico.


Mexico accounted for $611 million in wheat exports in 2016, making it the top U.S. market, followed by Japan. Canada accounted for $18 million in wheat sales (and this is an issue worth negotiating over because Canada discounts U.S. wheat). Combined, NAFTA accounted for 12% of U.S. wheat exports in 2016. Roughly 955 of Nebraska wheat exports went to NAFTA countries, as did 95% of Montana exports, 99% of Colorado exports, and 58% of California's wheat exports as well.

Fruit and Vegetables

While commodities get most of the attention, Canada and Mexico combined to import $5.5 billion in U.S. fruits and vegetables in 2016, accounting for nearly 50% of U.S. fruit and vegetable exports. More than half of all states sold 50% or more of their fruit and vegetable exports into the NAFTA market.


Clearly a bone of contention with Canada and its supply-management system, the U.S. still exported $631 million in dairy products to Canada last year and $1.2 billion to Mexico. The NAFTA partners accounted for more than 38% of all U.S. dairy exports. Montana sends100% of its dairy exports to NAFTA countries while Texas sends 85% of its dairy exports to Mexico or Canada. New York, a big dairy producing state, sends 52% of its dairy exports to a NAFTA country while Wisconsin sends 49%

Live animals, beef, pork and poultry

Beef exports to Canada and Mexico in 2016 accounted for more than $1.3 billion, or more than 24% of all U.S. beef and veal exports. Northern plains states sent high percentages of beef to NAFTA partners.

Pork exports last year reached $1.9 billion, or nearly 40% of all pork exports by the U.S. Western states nearly all sent a high percentage of their pork exports to NAFTA countries.

Poultry exports to Mexico were $1.1 billion and $663 million to Canada (again, supply management is a negotiating issue with Canada). They represented 39% of all poultry exports.

Livestock exports overall from the U.S. were $697 million in 2016, with Mexico and Canada each accounting for $129 million in live animals coming from the U.S.

The full Farm Bureau report and maps can be found at…

Chris Clayton can be reached at

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