US meat producer Tyson Foods has reported a fall in quarterly earnings, as its chicken business was hurt by the closure of a plant and higher grain costs.

The Springdale, Arkansas-based company posted profit of US$79m, or 23 cents a share, for the third quarter to 28 June, compared to $107m, or 30 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

The company had forecast net profit of between 19 and 22 cent per share, while analysts polled by Reuters had forecast, on average, profit of 21 cents per share.

Tyson’s sales rose 7.3% to $6.33bn, helped by high beef prices due to lower US beef production and a ban on imports of Canadian beef due to a case of mad cow disease in Alberta.

The mad cow disease case in Canada, however, also caused Tyson to cut production at its Alberta beef plant. Around half the factory’s beef was exported, reported Reuters.

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