Pilgrim's Pride Resumes Chicken Exports To Russia

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) -- Pilgrim's Pride Corp. has started to pack chicken for export to Russia, the chicken producer said in a news release Monday.

The company said it has received formal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to resume exports.

The second largest importer of U.S. chicken in 2009, Russia enacted a ban last winter over safety concerns. But officials last month said they would lift the ban, which could push up prices and, in turn, profit for U.S. producers.

Pilgrim's Pride said USDA has approved exports to Russia from plants in Boaz and Russellville, Ala., and Dallas.

The two plants in Alabama have started packing product for Russia, while the Dallas plant will resume production Monday, the company said.

The company said under a new agreement with Russia it must replace a chlorinated rinse with other types of rinses, including hydrogen peroxide.

"Russia is an important export market for U.S. chicken and the reopening of the borders will be a significant benefit to our company and industry," CEO Don Jackson said in a statement.

Shares rose 3 cents, or 0.43 percent, to $7.02.