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Good Progress on US/Russian Trade

by 5m Editor
16 March 2010, at 10:07a.m.

RUSSIA - Following continued talks, it now seems likely that US poultry meat will return to the Russian market. Both sides are talking about an imminent resolution.

It appears that poultry meat from the United States will soon return to the Russian market, according to ITAR-TASS.

"The US poultry has chance to return to Russia," the head of the Russian consumer rights watchdog, Gennady Onishchenko, told a news conference yesterday (15 March).

Speaking about the results of the talks with the US, he said: "The progress is evident and stunning. This is still our exclusive information." The two countries have an agreement not to disclose results until a certain time.

Presumably bound by the same agreement, Moscow Times reports that the chief of US chicken producer, Sanderson Farms, remains neutral on whether Russia will soon lift a ban on US poultry exports, even as Russia's point man on the issue cited "stunning" progress yesterday (15 March) in recent talks.

Joe Sanderson said: "[Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin himself made a comment about the Russian standards and the US having to meet Russian standards. Now, if the chicken industry gets the attention of Putin, that's a little different ballgame. I remain neutral about it."

Mr Sanderson said the Russian market accounted for about two per cent of the company's sales in dollar terms last year. While that is a small percentage, if Russia remains closed, the value of dark chicken meat will decline and that would be damaging to Sanderson Farms and the industry, he said.

Moscow and Washington have been negotiating since the start of the year, when virtually all US poultry was prohibited from the Russian market because of chlorine use reports Moscow Times.

The US supplied 750,000 metric tons of poultry last year – or 20 per cent of the market – and was slated to supply an additional 600,000 metric tons in 2010.

After the second round of talks ended late on the night of 2 March, the participants left with a draft agreement on renewed imports, Mr Onishchenko said. "Everything will be fine. The terms of the agreement will satisfy both sides."