January 13, 2004



US Beef Exports To Fall 90% In Mad Cow Aftermath


In the USDA monthly crop report, beef exports this year is expected to plunge by 90% after virtually all foreign countries, except Canada, banned US beef.


In addition, cattle prices will be significantly lower too, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.


U.S. cattle prices were forecast in the range of $72 to $78 per hundredweight, down from a government estimate last month of $84 to $91 for 100 pounds of beef this year.


USDA noted in its crop-production report that the impact of the case on meat production is "expected to be minimal" with domestic demand for beef remaining "firm."


Farm group sees dim outlook despite America's unwavering appetite for beef, ranchers will suffer lower cattle prices "for some time to come" because of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, the head of the country's largest farm group said Monday.


The U.S. response to mad cow disease was expected to dominate the annual meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Honolulu.


"The good news is that the latest polls are showing American consumers are continuing to purchase, consume and enjoy American beef," said Bob Stallman, president of the federation, in a speech at the convention on Sunday.

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