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News Update
Aug. 5, 2005

Trade Restrictions Shape 2005 Export Forecasts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) released an update today showing that disease outbreaks and related trade restrictions affecting U.S. animal product markets in 2003 continued their strain on 2004 figures.

According to the release, U.S. cattle and beef markets were most affected, followed by negative poultry market effects due to avian influenza outbreaks.

Forecasts for 2005 U.S. trade reflect expected market responses. The report states that 2005 U.S. beef exports will depend on the final resolution of border issues with Canada and what other major U.S. beef-importing countries do to reestablish trade.

Based on expectations that the U.S.-Canadian beef and cattle trade issues will be resolved in 2005, beef exports are forecast to increase modestly to 615 million pounds (lb.) in 2005. Although a 33% increase from 2004, the 2005 forecast leaves U.S. exports well below the 2003 record of 2.52 billion lb. Lower prices and a favorable exchange rate for the U.S. dollar will help maintain or even increase exports to currently open markets, the report states.

To view the entire report, visit www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/LDP/Aug05/ldpm13301.

Consumers Still Confident in Beef Safety

The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB) has released a study showing Americans remain confident in the safety of U.S. beef.

According to a CBB news release, the organization’s independent consumer-tracking survey was conducted June 27-29 and included 927 adult respondents. The survey found that 92% of American consumers are confident that U.S. beef is safe from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

To learn more visit www.beef.org/news.aspx.

Low-Carb Hits a Low

The Associated Press reported this week that the company founded by the late Robert Atkins, Atkins Nutritionals Inc., filed bankruptcy Monday, Aug. 1 — a testament to the decline of the low-carbohydrate dieting craze. The Chapter 11 filings mark a decline in Atkins’ diet popularity that began in February 2004, the article stated.

The AP article reports that approximately 2% of adults remain on the low-carb diet, a nutritional regime that was credited with boosting beef sales during the height of its popularity.

Visit www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/diet.fitness/08/03/after.atkins.ap/index.html to view the article.

— compiled by Crystal Albers, Angus Productions Inc., associate editor

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