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Bird flu worries may curb poultry exports

March 13, 2006
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According to the Associated Press, worries about bird flu have dampened trade prospects for American poultry, which already is facing lower prices, the Agriculture Department said Friday. The United States should export 5.3 billion pounds of poultry this year, the department said in its monthly crop report. That''s a drop of 95 million pounds from last month''s projections. Companies, not farmers, are feeling pressured. Chicken and turkey farmers generally get steady prices from chicken companies. Despite fears of bird flu, demand by U.S. consumers should stay strong, the department said. The average person is expected to eat 87.7 pounds of chicken this year, up from a forecast of 87.2 pounds last month. Americans ate an average of 85.8 pounds of chicken last year, the department said. While sagging exports and rising production have kept poultry prices low, prices for beef and pork should remain steady, the department said

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