Blip or trend? The poultry imports puzzle for 2023

A sudden surge in South African poultry import volumes in late 2022 raises all sorts of possibilities about what might happen in 2023.

South African poultry imports have been declining steadily since a peak in 2018, and continued dropping throughout most of 2022. Then in November last year there was a sudden spike, across multiple categories.

Poultry overall was up 59% over the previous month, broiler (chicken) was up 64.8% and the sensitive category of bone-in portions rose a huge 164%. Offal imports increased by 89% in the month, and mechanically deboned meat (MDM) by 35%.

This may be a one-month blip, as volumes for most of these categories are below the previous year, and the trend remains downward.

Or is the trend changing? Are Brazilian producers about to take up the opportunity to send significant volumes free of anti-dumping duties (which are suspended until August 2023)?

It’s an open invitation, of which they have yet to take advantage. Import statistics for December and the early months of 2023 will be watched closely.