Pilgrim's Pride Corporation yesterday (1 March) withdrew the financial guidance it had issued for the second quarter and full year, including earnings guidance of $0.25 to $0.35 per share and $2.00 to $2.50 per share, respectively.

The US's second largest poultry producer said that it would issue fresh guidance for the year when it delivers its next quarterly update at the beginning of May.

"The international markets and demand have not progressed as we had anticipated and our US operations continue to be negatively impacted by the declines in the selling price for chicken leg quarters," O.B. Goolsby, Pilgrim's Pride president and chief executive officer said. 

"Looking forward, we believe that the international markets will resume more demand for US chicken as consumers become more fully aware that eating properly handled and cooked chicken has never been a human health issue, particularly as international supplies have been negatively impacted by efforts to control the spread of avian influenza in Asia, Europe and other locations."

While Pilgrim's Pride operations in Mexico have recently returned to profitability, the company's US business has sustained losses of US$15m during February.

Pilgrim's Pride is not alone in its troubles; poultry producers worldwide have been feeling the effects of poor market conditions.