The value of U.S. farm exports during fiscal year 2008 is now forecast to hit a record $91 billion, up $7.5 billion from a previous estimate issued in August, the USDA said on Friday.

USDA's quarterly trade report also projected imports of agricultural items to rise to a record of $75.5 billion, up slightly from its prior estimate of $75 billion.

"This outlook is largely supported by continued strong demand, tight markets and sharply higher prices for grains and oilseeds, and a weaker dollar," said USDA.

USDA has raised its fiscal 2008 forecast for grain and feed exports to a record $27.5 billion, up $3.2 billion from its August estimate. The revision is due mainly to higher export volume for coarse grains and wheat and higher wheat prices.

The fiscal 2008 forecast for oilseeds and products has been raised to a record $16.3 billion, up $2.6 billion from both the August forecast and the previous year. Soybeans account for over half this increase with export value raised $1.7 billion to a record $10.4 billion.

The forecast for fiscal 2008 exports of livestock, poultry and dairy products is increased to a record $17.1 billion, up $1.5 billion from August.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, The Corn And Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.