Mad cow, avian flu barely affecting pork exports - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mad cow, avian flu barely affecting pork exports

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March 5, 2004

(Atlanta-AP) -- International bans on American beef and poultry because of recent disease scares would seem to put the pork industry in a prime position to become the nation's leading meat exporter.

But at a national pork industry meeting today in Atlanta, experts said a glut of Canadian pork on the world market and more competition from beef and poultry at home is making it difficult for U.S. pork producers to take advantage of disease-driven opportunities in other countries.

Nick Giordano is international trade counsel for the National Pork Producers Council. He says he hasn't heard any producers say they're planning to increase the number of hogs they produce. And he says the average hog producer has lost money for 22 of the last 26 months.

Giordano says that because of international bans, more U.S. beef and poultry must be consumed domestically, driving down meat prices overall and leading to more competition for the pork industry within the United States.

Compounding the problem is an oversupply of Canadian pork on the world market.

posted at 9:37AM by dave.miller@walb.com