No more excuses – time to act against dumped chicken

Another reason for the South African government to act against Brazilian chicken imports is the decline of South African food price inflation after months of rapid increases.

When Minister Patel delayed the implementation of anti-dumping duties last August, he expressed fears that they would have added to rising food prices. So he gave Brazilian chicken producers another 12 months in which to dump as much chicken in South Africa as they liked.

The poultry industry was hugely disappointed. Producers felt any price increases would be minimal, while dumped imports would add to the woes of a distressed industry battling rising costs, poor transport infrastructure and debilitating power cuts. 

Chicken producers also felt let down – the government was not fulfilling its side of the poultry master plan compact signed in 2019. The industry undertook to invest in additional expansion and job creation, and has more than fulfilled that promise. The government undertook to act firmly against dumped imports, but failed to do so despite clear evidence of dumping by Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain.

The industry repeatedly urged Minister Patel to impose the duties instead of waiting for 12 months.

Now that 12-month period is nearly up, during which the industry has been even more distressed by steadily rising input costs and a lengthy period of daily power cuts. 

Minister Patel has given no indication of whether he will announce a further delay, or bring the anti-dumping duties into force in August.

With food inflation finally going down, and likely to stay down, the South African poultry industry will hope Minister Patel finds no more excuses and at last puts a stop to Brazil’s chicken dumping.