Chicken processing plant operator Pilgrim's Pride Corporation (NYSE: PPC) said it will resume export shipments to Russia tomorrow, after the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) finalized certificates that must accompany the shipments under new requirments, re-opening borders.
Russia, the largest country in the world, is also one of the most important export markets for U.S. chicken. Pilgrim's has four Russia-approved processing plants that are currently packing products for the country.
In July, Russian officials signed a formal poultry agreement with the U.S. outlining new processing requirements for domestic chicken that is meant for export to Russia, including the chicken must be processed with cetylpyridinium chloride, peroxyacetic acid or hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorinated rinse.
Earlier this year, Russia banned all U.S. chicken that had been processed with chlorinated water.
The company said it expects shipments to Russia to begin loading at U.S. ports tomorrow.
"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 president and CEO Don Jackson.
Pilgrim's Pride employs approximately 41,000 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared-foods facilities in 12 states, Puerto Rico and Mexico. The company's primary distribution is through retailers and foodservice distributors.
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