Russia recently fired a warning shot over the bow of U.S. chicken producers when it said recently that 19 U.S. poultry producers will be barred from exporting their products to Russia. Right now, U.S. chicken producers cannot afford to lose Russia as an export market. U.S. chicken producers supply nearly 75% of the total poultry import quota set by Russia, which stands at 1.2 million tons. Russia represented the largest export market for chicken broilers made by U.S. producers in 1H08. Specifically, Russia accounts for 17% of Tyson’s International chicken sales (TSN’s second largest International market).

The loss of Russia as an export market would only compound the supply issues the U.S. chicken producers face. Further downward pressure on chicken prices and the loss of a key export market is not the solution for an industry that is already bleeding.