The 12-month suspension of anti-dumping duties would distort the SA poultry industry and impact other agricultural industries such as maize.
This is the view of independent agricultural economist Dr Kobus Laubscher in a report in Farmer’s Weekly.
Laubscher told the publication that is was extremely difficult for South African poultry farmers to make a profit, because of high input costs.
He pointed out that poultry farmers in the five exporting countries to which the anti-dumping duties would have applied – Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain – received considerable state support, while South African farmers did not.
As a result, these exporters could sell products at prices that were not market-related.
South African farmers were left to the mercy of free market principles and vastly increased input costs “without any support whatsoever,” he said.
Looking at the likely impact on the maize industry, he said a considerable proportion of the annual maize harvest was bought by poultry producers.
Poultry imports were “the importation of grain in the form of meat”, while South Africa needed to “export maize in the form of poultry” Laubscher stated.