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Thursday, 03 July 2014

South Africa Chicken duty seen as attack on import

THE long-running feud between local chicken producers and importers has taken a turn.
Importers describe the latest clamour for anti-dumping duties on European chicken products as "another attack on a small import industry" to boost prices in SA.
Having largely won its fight against Brazilian chicken products, the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) applied for anti-dumping duties of 91% against imports from Germany and the Netherlands, and 58% from producers and importers from the UK.
The SAPA application prompted a probe by SA’s trade watchdog, the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac).
David Wolpert, CEO of the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (Amie), said on Monday the investigation should have been terminated from the start because of the "myriad of errors, false claims, incorrect information and misleading product comparisons".
Earlier this month, Itac senior manager Zoleka Xabendlini said statistics from the South African Revenue Service indicated that chicken imports from the three European Union (EU) countries amounted to 101,581 tonnes in 2012, the year the probe was carried out.
Itac made a preliminary finding after investigating the dumping claims made by the SAPA, but this has not yet been made public.
Ms Xabendlini said if the commission’s preliminary findings suggested the existence of dumping which cause d injury to the poultry sector in the Southern Africa Customs Union, provisional payments were likely to be imposed.
"Interested parties will be advised of the determination and invited to submit comments on the preliminary determination," she said.
However, Mr Wolpert said "exceptional circumstances" were prevalent during the investigation period — these included increases in power, fuel and wages — and that dumping alone should not be blamed for the industry’s woes.
But the SAPA ’s CEO, Kevin Lovell, said Amie was confusing two concepts. "The introduction or increase of an import duty is a form of protection, but an anti-dumping duty is the correction of an unfairness," said Mr Lovell.

Source: BDLive