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News 354 views update:Feb 3, 2010

Russia & US sign new poultry deal

Russia and the United States have signed a new 2009 meat deal, cutting US poultry imports and increasing import duties on poultry and pork supplies above quotas, the Economic Development Ministry has said.

Under the deal Russia had cut its 2009 quota for poultry imports from all countries from 1.25 million to 952,000 metric tonnes, Maxim Medvedkov, head of the ministry's department for trade negotiations, said. Russia can now increase duty on poultry imports up to 95% of value for supplies above quotas and up to 75% for pork imports.

The US trade mission in Russia welcomed the deal, saying the new agreement would enable US meat exporters to continue supplies to the Russian market.

In 2008, Russia's quotas for poultry meat imports totalled around 1.2 million metric tonnes, including 870,000 tonnes from the United States. Under the new quotas, US poultry imports will be cut by 180,000 metric tonnes in 2009 while poultry supplies from the European Union will be reduced by 60,000 metric tonnes.

Russia's agricultural watchdog said it had resumed the issue of permissions for US poultry imports after deciding to delay for a year the introduction of new sanitary rules of poultry treatment restricting the use of chlorine.

Russia banned poultry imports from 19 US producers on September 1, citing their failure to meet sanitary standards. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the ban was not political.

Natalie Berkhout

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