December 24, 2012
South Africa will not apply more duties on Brazil's chicken
South Africa has decided not to impose additional duties on the chicken imports from Brazil.
However, this is likely to unleash vociferous opposition by local poultry producers, who claim their businesses are being harmed by the "dumping" of Brazilian chicken products.
South African Poultry Association CEO, Kevin Lovell, said he could not comment on the body's future course of action until it had been officially informed of the decision by the Department of Trade and Industry and the reasons for it. However, the association did not envisage legal action, he said. He noted that in a statement of essential facts distributed to stakeholders in October, the international trade commission supported the view that dumping was taking place.
Association of Meat Importers and Exporters CEO, David Wolpert, said he too was unable to comment on the decision until it had been promulgated.
Mr Wolpert said imports of whole birds and boneless cuts represented about 10% of the production of comparable products in South Africa, and therefore foregoing duties would not harm the local chicken industry.
The trade commission, which is responsible for customs tariff investigations, trade remedies, and import and export control in South Africa, slapped preliminary additional duties of 62.93% on whole chickens and 46.59% on boneless cuts from Brazil in February. This was pending the finalisation of an investigation which found that Brazilian boneless chicken and whole chicken imports were being sold more cheaply in the Southern African Customs Union than in Brazil.
The commission recommended to Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, that antidumping duties on frozen Brazilian chickens be imposed. However, Mr Davies sent back its final determination in August, following complaints by the Brazilian government.