End of US chicken quota would be good for local industry

Another aspect of the chicken dumping debate is the annual quota the United States forced on South Africa in 2015 in negotiations for the renewal of the US legislation the African Growth and Opportunity Act, known as Agoa.

As FairPlay has highlighted regularly, it is a quota of bone-in chicken specifically free of the anti-dumping duties to which US imports have been subject since 2000. The quota allows the US to dump steadily rising volumes of bone-in chicken in South Africa. It rose from 65 000 tonnes in 2016 to just under 72 000 tonnes last year.

Now, with South Africa’s Agoa benefits possibly under threat because of its perceived bias towards Russia in the Ukraine war, the debate is around what might happen to chicken imports.

If South Africa loses its Agoa benefits, the US loses its dumping quota.

Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) said local poultry producers would benefit if the US quota was ended.

“If the Agoa agreement is cancelled or South Africa is excluded, it may have a positive effect on the local poultry industry. South African farmers won’t have to compete with the dumped product and imports will decline,” he told Business Report.

Even if South Africa keeps its Agoa benefits, the SA poultry industry plans to oppose the inclusion of the US quota in an extended Agoa agreement.