The new Russian quota on US poultry imports is forcing US exporters to seek out new foreign markets. This system is unlikely to significantly cut current US exports into the country, but has the potential to cap further growth.
The new quota came into effect on 2 May 2003. It stipulates that only 781,800 metric tons of US poultry can be imported in one year.
The US National Chicken Council believes that this restriction could be severe for many meat processors in the US. Indeed, many companies have expressed concern at this development. Russia is their biggest foreign market, and there is potential for this to expand.
Russia usually imports about one million metric tons a year of chicken legs alone from the US, a commodity which has a relatively smaller demand at home. American consumers tend to prefer white meat.
Some industry analysts believe that US poultry processors should look to Mexico as a means of increasing expand.