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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Bans U.S. Poultry Shipments

WASHINGTON -- After becoming the top importer of U.S. poultry, Russia has stopped allowing shipments under the guise of new health rules, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman says.

The cutoff is a major blow to the U.S. industry, which shipped $500 million worth of chickens here in 1995, making it the largest market for U.S. birds.

"It's kind of out of the blue," Glickman said Wednesday. Although some shipments are still being made, no new import permits are being granted, he said, calling the move "a very serious problem." He said U.S. inspection officials have been visiting Russia to work out differences.

The move drove feed maize and wheat prices down in Chicago trading.

commodities trading Thursday.

The cutoff follows new health regulations that Glickman said were intended to curb trade rather than protect health.

"The chicken news is the main thing," said Vic Lespinsasse of Dean Witter Reynolds.

Glickman wrote Feb. 6 to his Russian counterpart, Alexander Zaveryukha, deputy prime minister for agriculture and food, that the new rules threatened cooperation on poultry and other agricultural matters.

He also suggested the rules would threaten Russia's desire to join the World Trade Organization.

(Reuters, AP)