USDA to purchase dark meat chicken

Poultry companies like Tyson, Simmons and O.K. Foods should benefit from the U.S. government’s stepped up purchases of dark meat chicken that is now sitting in cold storage.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported as of June 30 there were 138.7 million pounds of chicken leg quarters sitting in cold storage and the surplus was putting downward pressure on chicken prices for the poultry industry.

The USDA announced last week it would purchase frozen drumsticks and leg quarters to help ease the surplus. The dollar amount was not disclosed.

 “While the over-supply of dark meat is a burden to producers / processors, it is, at the same time, an excellent opportunity to provide high-quality, wholesome protein to recipients who may not be economically able to benefit from this product,” said Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council.

He said a timely purchase program will prove to be a worthwhile measure to help balance the white meat/dark meat situation for the chicken market

USDA officials.said the solicitation will be issued for deliveries from Nov. 1, 2013, through Feb. 28, 2014.

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Shares of Tyson Foods Inc. rose 1% on Monday (Sept. 9) trading at $29.81 in the afternoon session. 

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