In an interview with the radio station Jacaranda FM, Breitenbach said that, in the usual annual build up to the peak demand period last December, prices had increased by 5.4% “and that is quite low”.
“If you look at prices now, the prices of chicken have dropped in January.
“We have had no shortage of chicken at all in the buildup from September to December. Therefore, this had no impact on the price of chicken,” he said.
Breitenbach’s statement exposes the exaggerated predictions of chicken importers last year when they were encouraging the government to announce import tariff rebates ahead of the year-end festive season.
In November last year, the Daily Maverick quoted Paul Matthew, CEO of the importers’ association AMIE, as saying importers were expecting “a sharp rise in poultry prices over the upcoming festive season and into the new year, due to shortages caused by the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (bird flu) outbreak and the government’s delay in introducing an import tariff rebate”.
“The price increases are inescapable unless the government takes action now,” he said.
Not inescapable at all. No shortages, no hefty price increase last year, and prices in January are down not up.
Wrong, wrong and wrong again, Mr Matthew.