FAIR PLAY Movement has sounded alarm to South African potato producers that they may be in trouble if a mix-up between them and the country’s independent tariff regulator, the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) is not resolved.
“For reportedly the first time in its history, ITAC failed to complete a tariff investigation on time. The result was that anti-dumping duties against unfairly priced potato chip imports from Belgium and the Netherlands fell away in July, instead of being renewed” it said.
The mix-up has allegedly had to do with ITAC failing to complete their investigation in the prescribed time, which has now lapsed with local potato producers “now threatened by European import.”
On the positive stream, potatoes enjoyed a good week with high demand indicated in the fresh produce markets.
According to Paul Makhube of FNB, the average price of potatoes for Mon-Thurs was “R6.58 kg which is 20% higher relative to the same period last week and 18% higher than the full week average.”
Potatoes SA, a body representing potatoes commercial farmers, added that the high demand was pushed by the informal sector which comprised 68% of sales at fresh produce markets.
On the retail front, Massmart has accelerated plans to address hunger and relief efforts related to the recent unrests. “The Walmart Foundation and Massmart are committing more than R13 million in cash and in-kind donations to hunger relief organizations supporting the area.”
Following the the aftermath of unrests in KZN, the Citrus Growers Association reported shipping delays at the Durban harbour and had made calls for container depots to be opened 24 hours.
“All Durban citrus fruit cold store facilities are now back to full operational capability. Container supply is good and vessel reefer export stacks are open and accepting reefers.”