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A recent report by Leatherhead Food Research (www.leatherheadfood.com) has forecasted a decrease in growth of Chinese exports for 2009. While much of this projection stems from the aftermath of the global economic downturn on the country’s export markets, the recent safety scandals such as the melamine scare (and the resulting bans) are also considered to be one of the reasons for the slowdown. As per the report value, the country’s exports were over $31billion in 2008, and its food industry output increased by more than 150% between 2004 and 2008. China is a major exporter of food and drink to the United States, and its prominence in fresh produce, fish and seafood sectors is on a rise, the report adds.