South Carolina’s agriculture industry could be pinched by an uptick in the value of the U.S. dollar, Clemson University agricultural economists said Thursday. The challenge to South Carolina’s top industry follows the pressure of drought, last year’s historic flooding, and low commodity prices.
The value of the U.S. dollar against other currencies hit a 13-year high in mid-November, making U.S. goods more expensive abroad. Changes to federal trade policies and tariffs — particularly with China, a top importer of U.S. agricultural products — could hinder U.S. agricultural exports, as well, said Clemson Extension farm business consultant Scott Mickey.
South Carolina exported more than $920 million in agricultural goods in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.