Chicken Industry

One step forward, one step back

For the South African poultry industry, it’s always a mixture of good news and bad news.

The good news is the continuing benefits of the poultry master plan. The bad news is the expiry of temporary anti-dumping duties against Brazil and four European Union countries, without them being extended or replaced by permanent measures.

The switch to permanent anti-dumping duties was expected to happen on June 14, when the temporary duties expired. Farmer’s Weekly reports that permanent tariffs have been recommended by South Africa’s International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC), but the government has yet to make a decision. The decision is in the hands of Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel.

“Technically, he has 60 days to react to ITAC’s report but in this time the industry will face serious harm due to poultry being dumped from these five countries,” said Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association.

“While we don’t have the figures to prove it yet, the industry is probably being hurt by a lack of tariffs. The mere fact that we don’t have tariffs in place is an invitation for importers to bring more poultry in from elsewhere.”

Breitenbach said trade measures were at the heart of the master plan because of the need to defend the local industry from predatory trade practices such as dumping.

The industry had been in “dire straits” before the implementation of the poultry master plan. The expansion and job creation of the past two years would not have been possible had the industry still been subjected to unregulated dumped imports, Breitenbach said.