Chicken importers still haven’t committed to passing on lower prices that may result from the rebates on import tariffs that the government plans to implement.
Importers called for the rebates and stand to benefit hugely from them – firstly from increased import volumes that the rebates are designed to encourage, and secondly from improved margins, if they do not pass these lower import prices on.
Will they pass it all on? There has been no commitment so far that FairPlay has seen.
In an interview with TV station ENCA, Paul Matthew, head of the importers’ association Amie, said he hoped that in due course poultry prices would “drop a bit” because of the rebates.
A price drop is a certainty, but not because of rebates. Chicken prices have already dropped since December, as happens every January when demand lessens. And producers say there is an oversupply of chicken which may last until April.
So, instead of prices rising in January and into 2024, as Matthew predicted, they have dropped in January and may well drop further into 2024. That’s how the market works when there’s a surplus.
And Amie will claim victory. “See what our rebates have done”, they will say.
Wait for it.