US meat processor Tyson Foods has forecast fourth-quarter earnings above Wall Street expectations, helped by higher demand for US beef due to the US ban on Canadian beef imports.

“Our beef segment is having an outstanding quarter and is the principal reason for the better-than-expected results,” said chief executive John Tyson.

Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson forecast earnings of between 35 cents and 40 cents a share for the fourth quarter to 27 September. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 25 cents a share, reported Reuters.

The company also forecast fiscal 2004 earnings of between 90 cents and $1.20 per share, compared to Wall Street expectations of $1.05 per share.

The US banned imports of Canadian beef and cattle in May following the discovery of a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in Alberta.