Does SARS import data reveal dumping from OZ?

Somehow Australian producers are managing to land chicken portions in South Africa at prices even below those of countries found to be dumping chicken here.

Over the past two months, FairPlay has highlighted the extraordinarily low prices at which Australian chicken is being imported to South Africa, according to SARS data. In December it was drumsticks at R8.89/kg – around half the price of Brazilian drumsticks when that country was accused of dumping. Not only that, Australian drumsticks were cheaper than chicken feet and the processed meat paste MDM.

In January, Australian drumsticks were imported for even less – R8.74/kg, and again cheaper than chicken feet, which are classed as offal.

In February, the latest statistics from SARS show another price drop – Australian drumsticks landed in South Africa at R8.71/kg. And there’s much more of it – R2.2 million worth of these price-beating drumsticks that month, compared to R626 000 in December and R1 million in January.

In February, Australian drumsticks undercut those from Brazil (R20.14/kg – prices there are rising sharply), Spain (R10.56/kg) and the United States (R12.16/kg).

Anti-dumping duties have just been imposed on Brazil and Spain, while the US can dump legally because it has negotiated a substantial quota free of anti-dumping duties.

Even after the 62% tariff applicable to Australian bone-in portions, these drumsticks are landing here far below the South African producer price of R35.93/kg for frozen drumsticks and R36.21/kg for IQF drumsticks in December, the latest prices available.

How do they do it? The mystery deepens.