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Chicken importers score from duty suspension

South African poultry producers will try to persuade the government that it is chicken importers, not consumers, who will benefit from the 12-month suspension of anti-dumping duties on predatory imports from Brazil and four European Union countries.

The delay was imposed by Trade, Industry and Competition minister Ebrahim Patel. He approved the new duties but held back implementation on the basis that higher tariffs could make chicken more expensive for consumers.

Not so, said RCL Foods, owner of Rainbow Chicken, South Africa’s second-largest chicken producer. At the release of year-end results this week, the group said there is no evidence that chicken dumped by importers is actually sold at a cheaper price to South African consumers.

Importers will benefit the most, the group said, according to a report on Moneyweb. The impact of the delay on chicken prices was “questionable, as importers merely use the opportunity to profit on dumped imports”.
Rainbow MD Marthinus Stander said at the results presentation that poultry producers would take this up with Minister Patel, and try to reduce the 12-month delay.

“We are of a different opinion that the importers are really the ones that get the full benefit, there’s no cheap chicken on the shelf,” he said.

“We are obviously engaging with the minister to try to have those tariffs implemented earlier. He is the only one who can make that decision.”

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