by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – THE South African poultry industry is wary of the alleged harm by chicken imports from Brazil and some European Union (EU) countries.
According to stakeholders in the sector, the flurry of so-called dumped imports, which are said to be unfairly priced, is a threat to local chicken producers and jobs.
This in a country that is faced with rising unemployment.
The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has made an application for anti-dumping duties against Brazil and four EU countries.
The application relates only to bone-in chicken (leg quarters, thighs, wings etc) imported from Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain.
SAPA quantifies that from July 2017 to June 2020, more than half of the bone-in chicken imported into South Africa was dumped product – imported at prices below the relevant sales price in the producer countries.
The import value of this dumped bone-in chicken reportedly totalled R6,4 billion (US$438,9 million).
Francois Baird, founder of the FairPlay movement, explained that dumping occurs because the major chicken producers in Brazil and the EU make their northern hemisphere profits from the preference there for chicken breast meat.
“That sells at premium prices, and the brown meat – bone-in chicken – piles up as an unwanted surplus,” Baird said.
“This surplus chicken is frozen and sold in bulk packs to any market that will take it and at any price they can get,” he added.
West African countries and South Africa have emerged the prime markets for the past two decades.
According to the expert, chicken industries in West Africa – Ghana, Senegal and Ivory Coast in particular – were devastated.
“The South African chicken industry is trying to prevent that happening here,” Baird said.
Dumping is viewed as violation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
South Africa’s International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), the independent body to which the application by SAPA was made, has already said that on the evidence, a prima facie case of dumping has been made.
– CAJ News