WASHINGTON (AP) — Shoppers will pay less for beef this year as the industry unloads at home the meat that other countries refuse to buy because of America's case of mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department said Thursday.

Bans imposed by more than 50 nations against U.S. beef and cattle will push U.S. retail prices down 10 to 15 percent in the second half of the year, said Keith Collins, the department's chief economist.

Americans who on average eat about 65 pounds of beef a year will consume another 3 pounds each this year because of the lower prices, he predicted.

Exports account for about 10 percent of U.S. beef production of more than 26 billion pounds.