Namibia also suffering because of duty delay

The decision by South Africa to suspend for a year the imposition of anti-dumping duties on Brazil and four EU countries is impacting poultry industries across southern Africa.

The application for the anti-dumping duties was made by the SA Poultry Association (SAPA) on behalf of all countries in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).

The decision by South Africa’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, to approve but suspend the duties therefore applied not just to South Africa, but to SACU as well.

A report in The Namibian newspaper said the Namibian poultry industry was suffering because import volumes had more than doubled, resulting in oversupply in the market. Poultry imports went up from an estimated 27 719 tonnes in 2017 to 58 508 tonnes in 2021 – an increase of 111.1%

The newspaper quoted Bertha Liyambo, agricultural economist for the Namibian Agricultural Union, as saying consumers would not benefit from the tariff suspension because importers sold their products at market prices. The benefits went instead to “unscrupulous importers”, she said.

Namibian producers were competing with products imported at an average price of N$16.8/kg, while the local selling price is about N$42/kg, excluding VAT.

Liyambo said the decision to suspend anti-dumping duties for a year was an invitation to countries that had been dumping “to bring in more”.

“A continuation of these unsold surplus products would in the near future result in job losses, a loss in government revenue and material injury to the domestic market, unless the Namibian government intervenes,” she said.

All SACU countries were bound by Minister Patel’s directive “unless they can come up with their own solution to the problem,” she stated.

Is Namibia perhaps looking for a way to impose the anti-dumping duties that Minister Patel has suspended?