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Exports Boost U.S. Pork Industry

Pork exports have steadily increased over the years, giving new life to hog farms in Ohio and across the U.S. that produce more pork than Americans eat.

NEW CARLISLE, Ohio (AP) -- Pork exports have steadily increased over the years, giving new life to hog farms in Ohio and across the U.S. that produce more pork than Americans eat.

Nearly a quarter of pork produced in the U.S. goes abroad, up from only 3 percent in 1990. Last year, farmers shipped a record 2 million metric tons of pork valued at nearly $4.9 billion.

Because the sharp 2008 increase in pork exports represents an anomaly, numbers are expected to drop 14 percent this year.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation says the lower forecast is due to the global economic downturn and because China and other importing countries have increased pork production.

U.S. farmers have expanded to other countries and changed how they breed and feed hogs in an effort to hold onto overseas markets.

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