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Russian poultry importers benefit from bird flu situation

by 5m Editor
13 October 2005, at 12:00am

RUSSIA - Russian poultry importers have benefited from the country's recent bird flu situation, as they were able to raise prices due to shortage in domestic supplies, reports said.

Russian poultry importers benefit from bird flu situation - Russia - Russian poultry importers have benefited from the country's recent bird flu situation, as they were able to raise prices due to shortage in domestic supplies, reports said.

Russia's bird flu outbreaks had depressed demand for domestic chicken, while US chicken prices rose following Hurricane Katrina. Russian importers were able to take the opportunity to raise prices, and the few companies with contracts to import chicken gained huge profits. The recent purchase price for chicken in Russia was 62 rubles/kg (about US$2.2/kg) and was rising by as much as 10 rubles/kg a week.

Analysts said prices should fall to more acceptable levels as recent consumer demand for chicken had fallen by about 25-30 percent.

Meanwhile, the government said the domestic poultry industry suffered about 38 million rubles (about US$1.3 million) in bird flu losses. This excluded additional expenses for preventive measures against future outbreaks.

Poultry farms in affected areas were still quarantined and visitors prohibited from entering them. Thorough checks were also conducted on vehicles entering farm areas and ongoing discussions made to develop a more efficient vaccine against the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain.

However, the poultry industry has expressed optimism that the coming winter would halt the virus's spread, and see a traditional rise in demand.

Russia's annual chicken consumption was normally about two million tonnes, of which half of it was met by imports. However, the government planned to reduce the proportion of poultry imports to about 20 percent by 2010.

Source: eFeedLink - 13th October 2005

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