The volume of frozen poultry imports from the US to Russia fell in the first quarter of 2014 by 34%, to 47,200 tonnes, according to Russian news agency ITAR -TASS.
The news agency report notes that the sharp drop in deliveries began in February 2014.
In January 2014, imports of US chicken legs fell 8%, to 20,700 tonnes, against the corresponding period of 2013. In February the volume of supplies dropped already by 52% to 9,880 tonnes on year-to-year comparison. Deliveries of poultry meat from the United States in March 2014 have also decreased by 41% to 16,600 tonnes, as compared to 28,200 tonnes in March 2013.
In 2013, Russia imported 415,000 tons of frozen poultry meat, with 65% (266,000 tonnes) coming from the United States. Smaller amounts came from Brazil, Ukraine, France and the Netherlands. Russian Federal Customs Service assessed the total value of US poultry imports to Russia at US$ 337 million in 2013.
Several reasons have been offered as an explanation to the drop, first of all Russia continues to increase its own poultry production replacing imports (during Q1 Russia increased production by 4.4% to 915,000t on year-to-year comparison). Also the price of imported poultry is currently higher than Russian poultry by on average 10%. In addition there have been a number of veterinary disputes which have resulted in the halting of US poultry imports for three months from April.
Imports of chicken meat from the United States also fell in Lithuania, China, Ghana and Kazakhstan in the first quarter of 2014, the report added.