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News 826 views update:Mar 8, 2010

Tyson focus shifting away from Russia

Tyson Foods said it had reduced the amount of chicken exports to Russia it to about 10% of its total exports from about 50% a few years ago as the company works to find other markets for the product, reports Reuters.

Tyson CFO Dennis Leatherby said the company had found other export markets as well as domestic uses for the meat.

Russia, once the largest export market for U.S. chicken, has reduced imports in order to build its own industry. It also banned U.S. Chicken in January due to a chlorine wash used to kill bacteria, but Negotiators are working to reopen that market.

"It is more costly to use the other methods, but we are certainly willing to do that, if the Russians are," said Leatherby.

Reports continue saying that Leatherby said Tyson was focused on pure strong hold in the business and improving its debt rating to investment grade rather than buy back shares. "Share buybacks would be our lowest priority by far," he said. Acquisitions would be considered, "but they would pretty much have to fall in our lap at pretty reasonable prices," he said.

Additionally, the company will focus efforts on integrating recent acquisitions in China and Brazil in 2010.

Source: Reuters

Natalie Berkhout

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