Dumping and predatory trade

Attacks on the poultry master plan

Chicken importers and their friends continue to attack anti-dumping duties and other curbs on unfair imports which will reduce importers’ profits. Of course they don’t put it like that, but continually raise the spectre of higher prices.

Food prices, including chicken, will go up in South Africa and around the world because of the Ukraine war. Feed and fertiliser prices had been rising before that, partly because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the Ukraine invasion has made things worse.

Food inflation fears were stoked once again by a regular opponent of anti-dumping duties, Anthony Peerie. FairPlay will continue to point out that action against chicken dumping and illegal trade, and the boost to the local industry to replace some imports, are all part of the poultry master plan. Importers signed that plan and should be supporting it, not attacking it.

Another aspect regularly ignored by importers is the poultry industry’s contribution to the South African economy. It is a R50 billion industry employing thousands and supporting thousands more in the grain and logistics industries, all of which contribute to tax revenue. It is a job creator, while imports support jobs in other countries.

The industry estimates that its contribution to South Africa’s GDP will increase to R56.5 billion by the end of this year. It has invested more than R1 billion in expansion and transformation project in terms of the poultry master plan. 

What, if anything, have importers done? Their silence is telling.