Russia Halts Pork from Two US Smithfield Plants

RUSSIA - Russia has put a "temporary" halt to pork imports from two US plants as well as producers in several other countries due to concerns about antibiotics in the meat, a Russian government official said Thursday, 16 September.
calendar icon 20 September 2010
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According to Nasdaq, Yevgeniy Khorishko, press secretary for Russia's US embassy, said the two US plants are owned by Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD).

Russia found "excessive presence of antibiotics" in pork produced at the plants, Mr Khorishko said.

The new Russian ban also applies to plants in Germany, Spain, Holland, France and other countries, Mr Khorishko said

The spot October hog contract at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is down 1.15 cents a pound at 78.10 cents, and initially tumbled to a low of 77.55 cents, or 2.1 per cent. And, the nearby December month is off 0.97 cents at 75.70 cents. It originally slid to a 75.40-cents low, or 1.7 per cent, following the Russia news.

Russia is a major market for US pork, although it has bought less this year than in 2009. US pork exports to Russia for the first seven months of this year totaled 45,696 metric tons, down 43 per cent from 80,451 tons in the same period a year ago, according to data maintained by the US Meat Export Federation.

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