U.S. drought prompts record crop insurance payout

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washington / reuters

Crop insurers have paid a record $11.6 billion to U.S. growers in compensation for losses due largely to widespread drought in 2012. Some analysts expect indemnities to reach $20 billion this year, nearly double the old record set in 2011. That would mean steep losses as insurers collected just over $11 billion in premiums.

Washington not only pays 62 per cent of premiums but is on the hook for about three-quarters of underwriting losses. Crop insurance is the largest U.S. farm support. Some 85 per cent of eligible farmland, 281 million acres, was covered by $116 billion worth of policies in 2012.

Brazil sees growing demand for poultry exports

sao paulo / reuters Brazil’s chicken meat exports should increase by about three per cent this year after falling in 2012 due to high feed costs, says the country’s poultry association. The association expects better demand from countries in Asia and Africa and a greater emphasis on processed foods to raise the value of sales and to compensate for high grain prices in the past year in the world’s top chicken meat exporter.

“This year, we want to improve the quality of chicken meat and add value to exports,” said Francisco Turra, president of the Brazilian Poultry Union (Ubabef). Brazil accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the world’s chicken exports.

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