Industry Hails U.S.-Russian Agreement On Poultry Trade

U.S. poultry industry officials said Friday they were pleased that a six-month trade dispute has been resolved by an agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation.

“We’re pleased that negotiators for the United States government and the Russian Federation have reached a satisfactory agreement on the poultry trade between the two countries,” said George Watts, President of the National Chicken Council. “American chicken companies will move immediately to implement the agreement and rebuild the trade, which has been subject to cutoffs and regulatory uncertainty for the past six months. We look forward to supplying American chicken to the Russian market, where it has been a very popular product for 10 years.”

“This agreement is the result of a Herculean effort by many, especially the dedicated people at USDA and at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office,” said James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council. “Throughout the negotiation process, they worked long hours to keep the process moving forward. Their diligence is to be commended. Our industry is anxious to resume trade with Russia, which has been our top export market for poultry for the better part of a decade.”

“The Russian market is important to turkey producers, and we are glad that this dispute has been resolved,” said Stuart Proctor, President of the National Turkey Federation. “Developing the export business will be vital to the growth of the turkey industry.”

Facts and figures:
In 2001, Russia imported 1,069,512 metric tons of chicken worth $630 million and 30,780 metric tons of turkey worth $26.5 million. This represented eight percent of all the chicken produced in the United States in 2001 and two percent of all the turkey.

Russia accounted for approximately 39 percent of all the chicken exported from the United States in 2001, making it the largest single export market for U.S. chicken. Russia was the second -largest export market for turkey.

Russia announced on March 1 that it would embargo poultry from the United States as of March 10. The embargo lasted until April 15, when the market was reopened, but all outstanding permits were canceled. Trade since then has been hampered by lack of permits. As a result, Russia’s imports of chicken parts for the period from January to June of 2002 dropped by 29 percent compared with the same period in the previous year.

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