USDA predicts that U.S. pork exports will rise to a new record in 2008 and beef exports will remain steady. In its November Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report, the agency forecast 2008 pork exports (including chilled, frozen and processed meats) will hit a record volume of nearly 1.1 million metric tons valued at $2.7 billion, up from its August forecast of 1.0 million metric tons valued at $2.6 billion. Record hog slaughter, a weaker U.S. dollar and lower hog prices in the U. S. all contributed to the upward pork revision.

USDA left its beef and veal export forecast for 2008 unchanged in volume at about 545,000 metric tons. It said combined sales to Japan, Canada and Mexico would offset any declines for South Korea resulting from the current sales suspension. Beef and veal exports are now expected to be worth about $2.4 billion in 2008, up from USDA's August forecast of $2.2 billion and last year's $1.9 billion because of the weak dollar.

Relative to 2007, the U.S. dollar (adjusted for relative inflation rates) is expected to depreciate 5 percent against the euro, 6 percent against the Chinese yuan, 3 percent against the Brazilian real, 8 percent against the Argentine peso and 0.5 percent against the Mexican peso in 2008. The dollar is expected to be up 2 percent versus the Japanese yen and unchanged against the Canadian dollar, USDA forecast.

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