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US farm exports likely down between US$1 billion to US$2 billion: official

STUTTGART, Arkansas--America's top agricultural negotiator said Tuesday that he expects farm exports to be down between US$1 billion and US$2 billion this year because of the drought.

The tighter supply of grains, and the resulting higher price of feed, is driving up beef and poultry costs, though not to the point that international buyers are fleeing in droves, U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator Isi Siddiqui said.

The U.S. exported US$137 billion in agricultural products last year, and after this year's falloff, sales are projected to hit US$143 billion in 2013, Siddiqui said. He added that he doesn't believe a one-year dip would lead to a lasting slowdown in sales to Asia, where China is a major buyer of U.S. dairy and meat, or elsewhere.

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