“Cheap poultry imports hurt local industry”

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South African poultry producers are increasingly concerned about ‘cheap’ chicken cuts being imported into South Africa. That was according to Izaak Breitenbach, head of the South African Poultry Association broiler organization.


He said figures from the South African Revenue Service showed Australian chicken thighs landed in South African ports at around 6.89 rand/kg.

“This is the lowest price of all [portion] of meat from any country in the world. It is even less than [the price of] chicken feet, which are generally less expensive than [other] Meat [products]said Breitenbach.

Currently, exporters from all countries outside the EU paid a 62% import duty on poultry products.

This meant that the import tax on imported poultry at R6.89/kg would be R4.27. Therefore, meat was basically imported at R11.16/kg, he explained.

“It currently costs at least R26.50 to produce a whole chicken carcass in South Africa,” Breitenbach said, adding that local producers were highly competitive globally.

“We don’t mind importing poultry at competitive rates, but dumping destroys local jobs and harms the local poultry industry. Dumping is not acceptable according to World Trade Organization guidelines [either]. This is why there are certain remedies [such as tariffs] that countries can apply to prevent dumping.

According to Land Bank May 2022 Poultry Industry ReportSouth African poultry producers have been unable to meet local consumer demand for poultry products.

The bank said domestic consumption of poultry products will reach 1.89 million tonnes this year, down 0.16 percent from the 1.9 million tonnes consumed in 2021.

Last year, South Africa imported about a fifth of its total poultry consumption, according to the report.

A report by the United States Department of Agriculture said that in 2021, the forecast for chicken meat production in South Africa increased by 4% to 1.57 million tons, compared to 1.51 million tons in 2020.

Breitenbach said that in the past much of the production shortfall could be replaced by imports from the EU. However, avian influenza (AI) had led to a significant drop in imports from these regions.

Locally, the incidence of AI has decreased, but the disease is still present in wild birds, he added.

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