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Oct 18 -- The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service invites comments to OMB by November 17, 2023 regarding the extension of the data collection on Export Sales of U.S. Agricultural Commodities.

The Export Sales of U.S. Agricultural Commodities is authorized by § 602 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978, as amended (7 U.S.C. 5712). The Export Sales of U.S. Agricultural Commodities requires the reporting of information pertaining to contracts for export sale of certain specified agricultural commodities that may be designated by the Secretary of Agriculture. U.S. exporters are required to report information on: (1) the quantity of a reportable commodity to be sold to a foreign buyer; (2) the country of destination; and (3) the marketing year of shipment. Data reported is aggregated and published in compilation form to protect business confidential information submitted.

The Export Sales Reporting and Maintenance System (ESRMS) was created after the large, unexpected purchase of U.S. wheat and corn by the Soviet Union in 1972. U.S. exporters are required to regularly report specific information on commodity shipments using ESRMS. The information reported is maintained by the exporters during the normal course of conducting business and is not an additional recordkeeping requirement for respondents.

The information collected under the Export Sales of U.S. Agricultural Commodities provides commodity market participants with information about commodity export commitments, and is one means by which USDA seeks to insure transparency, fairness, and soundness in commodity marketing. The information will be collected using FAS forms 97, 98,99, and 100. If the information were collected less frequently or not at all, the Department would not be in compliance with the statutes and not fulfilling the objectives of the export sales reporting program.

Description of Respondents: All exporters of wheat and wheat flour, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, cattle hides and skins, beef, pork, and any products thereof, and other commodities that the Secretary may designate as produced in the United States.

Number of Respondents: 414

The export sales reporting system provides commodity market participants with information about commodity export commitments, and is one means by which USDA seeks to insure transparency, fairness, and soundness in commodity marketing.

The legislation requires that sales for export be reported to the Secretary on a daily basis for wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, soybeans, and soybean meal for sales of 100,000 metric tons, or more in one day to one destination, and 20,000 tons or more for soybean oil. Weekly reporting is required for all sales activity, regardless of quantity, and for above-mentioned commodities as well as for cotton, beef, rice, cattle hides and skins, pork, and other minor oilseed products. The following are the currently approved reporting forms:

-- For limited sales, identified as optional origin sales, the exporter uses form FAS-97 Rev. 11-01, Report of Optional Origin Sales.
-- Weekly export sales and shipment activities are reported by the exporter using the form FAS-98 Rev. 11-01, Report of Export Sales and Exports.
-- Quarterly reports providing selected data on individual sales contracts are submitted using the form FAS-99 Rev. 11-01, Contract Terms Supporting Export Sales and Foreign Purchases.

For activity involving commodities that have been shipped from the U.S. but are unsold or have not been allocated to an existing sales contract, the reporting exporter uses the form FAS-100 Rev-11-01, Report of Exports for Exporters’ Own Account.

The total outstanding contracts identified on the quarterly report are used as an internal check to ensure exporters have included all sales activity on their weekly “FAS-98” reports.

In general, exporters are required to regularly report to the FAS specific information on commodity shipments within specific time limits. The information to be reported is maintained by the exporters during the normal course of conducting business and is not an additional recordkeeping requirement for respondents. The information collection is needed by the administrative officials because it provides up-to-date market data for making rational agricultural policy decisions and to prevent market disruptions. USDA, in turn, reports this information to the public, in an aggregated form, so that all market participants can be aware of such sales and can evaluate the effects of exports on supply, demand, production, consumption, prices, and sales.

Export Sales Reporting Program: https://www.fas.usda.gov/programs/export-sales-reporting-program
FAS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202309-0551-001 Click on IC List for questionnaire, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-22916
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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