Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation is to resume export shipments to Russia after the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) finalised certificates that must accompany the shipments.
Pilgrim’s Pride has four Russia-approved processing plants that are currently packing product for Russia. Shipments began loading at US ports over the weekend.
“Demand from Russia is very strong. We have sold out our entire Russian-approved production for the next 30 days and prices have continued to strengthen,” said Don Jackson, Pilgrim’s president and chief executive. “Russia is an important export market for US chicken and the re-opening of the borders will be a significant benefit to our company and industry.”
In July, Russian officials signed a formal poultry agreement with the United States outlining new processing requirements for domestic chicken that is to be exported to Russia. Earlier this year, Russia had banned all US chicken that had been processed with chlorinated water. Under the new requirements approved in July, US chicken companies can replace the chlorinated rinse with cetylpyridinium chloride, peroxyacetic acid or hydrogen peroxide.
Other major poultry processors are preparing to resume shipments following approval from both the Russian and the US government, BMO Capital Markets analyst Ken Zaslow is reporting. Tyson Foods has five plants and Sanderson Farms has three plants ready to ship to Russia.