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Chicken industry shrugs off the Russian sanctions

The loss of the Russian export market for U.S. chicken companies is not expected to have measurable economic impact here in the U.S., according to Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

He said Russia is not the market it once was for U.S. chicken partially because of the cat and mouse game played between the two governments over the past decade. Sumner said for many years chicken has been used a political ploy between diplomatic tensions with Russia and other countries around the world.

The recent sanctions (fruit, vegetable, meat and dairy) imposed by Vladimir Putin in retaliation of the ongoing U.S. economic sanctions come as no surprise to local poultry companies who expect minimal impact during this latest chess game.

“We are disappointed about the loss of the Russian market but don’t expect the impact to be significant since the volume we ship there can be absorbed by our other global customers,” noted Worth Sparkman, spokesman for Tyson Foods.

Sumner said last year U.S. chicken exports to Russia were valued at $303 million. It represents about 7% of U.S. poultry exports today. The U.S. exports about 20% of its total production.

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While Russia is the second leading export country for U.S. chicken, Sumner said that loss should have hardly be measurable given the tighter chicken supplies and uptick in demand here in the U.S. because of high red meat prices.

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