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Poultry Import Quota to Drop 33% in 2011

The quota for poultry imports in 2011 will drop in order to boost local production, while quotas for imports of beef and pork will remain unchanged, the head of Russia's Meat Union said Wednesday.

The poultry quota may be slashed to 400,000 tons, with about 70 percent of that coming from the United States, said Musheg Mamikonyan, who leads the meat producers' lobby group.

The United States shipped 733,000 tons of poultry meat to Russia in 2009 and the U.S. quota for 2010 was set at 600,000 tons, although Russia allowed other suppliers to use a quarter of it.

Quotas for beef and pork imports will be kept at levels earlier announced by the Economic Development Ministry, Mamikonyan added.

He said, citing Meat Union estimates, that local production of poultry will grow 13 percent this year to reach 2.9 million tons and will add 10 percent more in 2011.

Pork production is seen growing at 8 percent to 9 percent in 2010 and at 10 percent next year, Mamikonyan said.

Russia could become self-sufficient in poultry and pork before 2013, the head of the country's top meat producer Cherkizovo told a Reuters Summit in September.

Earlier this year Russian authorities said the country should also focus on exporting meat itself, aiming to sell $1.5 billion to $2 billion worth of poultry and pork by 2020.

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