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Mexico Begins U.S. Chicken Probe

Mexico, the top foreign buyer of U.S. chicken last year, said Feb. 8 it would investigate U.S. producers over dumping complaints lodged by Mexican chicken processors.

Mexican chicken processors allege U.S. producers sold chicken legs and thighs on the Mexican market below their cost of production in 2010. Among the U.S. producers named in the complaint published in the government’s official gazette were Tyson Foods Inc. and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

Mexican imports of U.S. chicken surged 18 per cent in the first 11 months of 2010 to 876.53 million pounds to displace Russia as the biggest buyer of U.S. chicken, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Tyson said in a statement it was not aware of any improprieties in U.S. chicken exports to Mexico, adding that exports of chicken from its U.S. plants to Mexico amounted to less than one per cent of its $1.9 billion in international chicken sales in fiscal 2010.

The chicken dispute comes as the Uni ted States and Mexico are still trying to resolve a disagreement over access for Mexican trucks to U.S. roads, as required under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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