Farms Fuel Boom in US Exports

Strengthening dollar could trim growth of sales abroad
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Aug 18, 2008 9:21 AM CDT
A crane loads a cargo container onto a ship at the Port of Miami in Miami.    (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, file)
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(Newser) – Worldwide demand for grain and a weak US dollar helped drive exports up 7.1% in the first half of the year, providing a respite from the barrage of negative economic news. But experts warn the commodity-driven rise could be brief, reports the New York Times. Export surges of agricultural products “tend to go away pretty quickly,” said one analyst.

So far, manufactured goods have made up just 12% of the increase, commodities 41%. But domestic and international agricultural products are interchangeable, while US businesses have committed to globalization over the past 2 decades. Said a Cleveland-based industrial manufacturer: "Our customers just love for us to make our stuff near their new operations, and if we do, they reward us with a lot of business."