South Africa suspends anti-dumping duties for frozen chicken imports as inflation crunches

SOUTH AFRICA – The government of South Africa through the Ministry of Trade & Industry has suspended the imposition of anti-dumping duties on chicken imports from Brazil and four European Union countries – Denmark, Ireland, Poland and Spain – for at least a year, in order to protect consumers’ pockets amid high food prices.

The announcement follows conclusion of an investigation by the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) into the alleged dumping of frozen bone-in portions of chicken imported from the forementioned countries launched in February 2021.

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The investigation was a response to an application made by the South Africa Poultry Association, which alleged that poultry products were being dumped into the SACU market, thereby threatening the SACU chicken industry.

However, the foreign exporters denied that this was the case and participated in the ITAC investigation and responded thereto.

Prior to the completion of the ITAC investigation, the government had imposed provisional anti-dumping duties from December 2021 until June, to combat what the SA Poultry Association described as predatory and unfair trade.

ITAC recently concluded its investigation and recommended to the Minister of Trade & Industry that anti-dumping duties be imposed.  

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Minister Ebrahim Patel accepted ITAC’s recommendation that anti-dumping duties be imposed, but has decided to suspend the imposition of anti-dumping duties on these countries for a period of 12 months, as was published in the Government Gazette on 1 August 2022.

The Minister noted that the decision was based on the current rapid rise in food prices in the South African Customs Union (SACU) market and globally, and the significant impact this has, especially on the poor.

Also considered was the impact the imposition of the anti-dumping duties may have on the price of chicken as one of the more affordable protein sources.

Poultry importers welcomes suspension of anti-dumping duties

The SA Meat Importers and Exporters Association (AMIE) has applauded the move, saying it means many consumers living below the poverty line will be better able to afford an important source of protein.

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The suspension of additional tariffs on chicken imported from the five countries is a first step in the right direction, says SA AMIE CEO Paul Matthew.

The association had earlier lodged an application for government to consider a moratorium on tariffs on imported chicken to help curb inflation in April.

It also asked for existing tariffs to be reconsidered and for all chicken cuts to be exempted from value-added tax.

“Governments around the world have been slashing import tariffs as a way to help their citizens survive. Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea have removed tariffs on imported goods, including chicken, to curb and mitigate the impact of rising inflation on their people.

“The liberalisation of trade policies can help consumersThe opposite is true of localisation and protectionist policies because they restrict competition, which lead[s] to an increase in the price of local goods,” says Matthew.

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