WASHINGTON (B)--U.S. Department of Agriculture Feb. 24 raised its fiscal 2000 farm commodity export forecast to $49.5 billion, up from a previous a prediction of $49 billion.

USDA said it has raised its fiscal 2000 estimates because of increased U.S. cotton exports and stronger overseas livestock sales. However, the revised export projections do not include the recently announced 3 billion tonnes of additional U.S. food aid as part of the 416b program.

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