WASHINGTON (B)--United States Department of Agriculture June 9 raised its beef and pork export forecasts for 2000 and 2001 due to "expectations of continued strong foreign demand."

USDA, in its monthly supply and demand report, raised its forecast for beef exports in 2000 to 2.515 billion pounds, up from a May prediction of 2.4 billion. The U.S. beef export forecast for 2001 was increased to 2.435 billion pounds, up from 2.345 billion.

The U.S export forecast for pork exports in 2000 was also raised to 1.275 billion pounds, up from a May prediction of 1.2 billion. The pork export forecast for 2001 was increased to 1.305 billion pounds from 1.2 billion.

USDA said, "Despite falling U.S. beef production, demand for high-quality U.S. beef in the recovering Asian markets is expected to bolster U.S. exports. Pork exports are also expected to remain high as economic growth continues in major importing countries."

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