Thursday, March 26, 2009

Texas farm exports to Cuba nearly double

The Dallas Morning News

11:19 AM CDT on Thursday, March 26, 2009

By JIM LANDERS / The Dallas Morning News

jlanders@dallasnews.com

Texas farm exports to Cuba have nearly doubled in the last year in line with Cuba’s appetite for American agriculture, but that trend may falter along with the slumping global economy.

C. Parr Rosson III, a Texas A&M professor and agriculture economist, said Texas farmers sent $85 million to $90 million of wheat, corn, soybeans and frozen chickens to Cuba last year as U.S. farm exports to Cuba surged from $430 million in 2007 to $715 million.

Tourists visiting Cuba accounted for much of the demand for U.S. farm goods and provided the foreign exchange needed to buy such goods, Rosson said.

With recession spreading around the world, however, Cuba’s tourism industry might tail off this year.

“Cuba is a significant market for Texas, and it can grow in the future,” Rosson said.

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