“Bush’s legs” dance the principal part on the Russian market

At present, the share of the American produce in the total the of the Russian poultry import makes up 92%. The direct chicken export from US to Russia has virtually doubled over the past 2 years – from 321,600 tons in 1999 to 613,500 tons in 2000. These figures are presented in a press-release issued yesterday by the Russian division of the US Council for Poultry and Egg Export (USAPEEC). The figures match the official statistics of Russia’s State Customs Committee, according to which 693,800 tons of poultry was imported to Russia in 2000. Albert Davleyev, head of the Moscow division of USAPEEC, thinks that “such an increase in the poultry export from the US to Russia and virtually complete legalization of the supplies has brought considerable revenues to the Russian coffer. For the year 2000 alone, the Russian budget received from this import over $200m in the form of direct import duties and VAT. The total of indirect revenues from importers, distributors, and expeditors made up over Rbs2.1bn.” But how much have the Russian producers lost as a result of the increase import? Mr. Davleyev would not say. Rather, he really does not know. Our officials can never make it out what goes on in our poultry farming. Anyhow, officials at USAPEEC try to do their best to convince the Russian reader – and the Russian producer – in the extreme profitability of the US import for Russia (surely, some officials involved in the decision taking over supplies may well feel so). Yet, an increase in the domestic production would surely be far more advantageous for the state. Aleksandr Chetverikov, Russian State Duma deputy has give an interview to our correspondent. In particular, he has said the follows. “There are poultry farms in Russia which can produce up to 2m tons a year, while as little as 600,000 is being produced at present. In agriculture, poultry farming represents a locomotive of sorts. It is the only sector ensuring a 32–40 day turnover. Besides, it is the only agricultural business having productive capacities which do not yet show sings of wear and tear in Russia.”

From our correspondent SERGEI STEPHANOV

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