Russia cut the volume of frozen poultry it imports from the United States by 34% to 47,200 metric tons in the first three months of 2014, partly due to Moscow's measures to limit its dependence on external markets by boosting its own poultry production, news agency Itar-Tass reports.
Another reason behind the drop was the relatively low price of poultry in Russia. The cost of imported poultry meat is currently around 10% higher than the price in Russia. There have also been several trade disputes related to veterinary certificates between the two countries.
U.S. frozen poultry deliveries to Russia started falling at a rapid pace in February, when volumes plunged by 52% in annual terms to 9,880 metric tons, before sliding 41% to 16,600 metric tons in March compared with 28,200 metric tons in March 2013. The drop was much more modest in January, when poultry imports were just 8% lower than the same month of 2013, standing at 20,700 metric tons.
Lithuania, China, Ghana and Kazakhstan were also among the countries that lowered U.S. supplies of frozen poultry meat in the first quarter of the year.
Last year the United States was Russia's biggest frozen poultry partner, accounting for 65% of its total imports of 415,000 metric tons. In money terms, U.S. exports of frozen poultry meat to Russia totaled $337 million in 2013, data from the country's Federal Customs Service shows.
Russia also imported frozen poultry meat from Brazil, Ukraine, France and the Netherlands in 2013.