11 April 2022. Chicken importers and their advisors like to pretend that the main reason for the increase in local chicken prices is import tariffs and anti-dumping duties.
In fact, tariffs come a distant third behind rising input costs (electricity, and the feed, fertiliser and fuel costs now exacerbated by the war in Ukraine) and the fact that production and logistics have not yet fully recovered from the disruptions of the pandemic lockdowns.
South Africa is not alone in this. Food prices are going up around the world for the same reasons, and the warnings are that, because of the Ukraine war, worse is yet to come.
Yet when the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) held a media briefing today, they warned of a coming “chicken price tsunami” and the discussion focused on tariffs and anti-dumping duties on chicken imported into South Africa.
The media were also informed that anti-dumping duties are not justified because imports are doing no harm to the local poultry industry – a condition for the imposition of anti-dumping duties.
This is a direct contradiction of the reasons given for provisional anti-dumping duties imposed last December on Brazil, Denmark, Ireland Poland and Spain.
South Africa’s trade regulator, the International Trade Administration Commission, after an extensive investigation, made a preliminary determination that bone-in chicken portions were being imported from the five countries at dumped prices, causing “material injury and the threat of material injury” to the local industry.
ITAC will make a final determination on the anti-dumping duties later this year. If AMIE believes they are not justified, they should make that case to ITAC. In the meantime, duties are in place, based on dumping and findings of material injury. To pretend otherwise is to misinform the South African public.