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IN BRIEF/AGRICULTURE

Farm Trade Surplus to Be the Smallest Since '70

February 17, 2006|From Bloomberg News

The U.S. agricultural trade surplus will shrink to its smallest in 26 years, as imports of farm products surge and exports are crimped by concerns about meat safety, the government said.

The surplus will fall to $1 billion in the fiscal year ending in August, down from $4.7 billion last year, said Keith Collins, the Agriculture Department's chief economist.

The forecast surplus would be the smallest since 1970. The U.S. has not run an agricultural trade deficit since 1959.

Agricultural imports will reach a record $63.5 billion, Collins said.

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