Economics

Defending The Domestic Poultry Industry Against Dumping

Today marks the sunset review for the anti-dumping duties South Africa imposed against several countries that have been identified as dumping cheap poultry imports on South African shores. An earlier investigation by the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) has found that these dumped imports have led to material harm to the local poultry industry and economy, recommending remedial defensive dumping duties to countervail the impact of dumped imports.

“The South African Poultry industry was in dire straits prior to the development and implementation of the Poultry Sector Master Plan,” says Izaak Breitenbach, head of the SA Poultry Association’s broiler board. “The core tenets of the Poultry Master Plan include targets for industry investment and industrial development, industry transformation, increasing production capacity to meet local demand, driving exports, and the lynchpin that would make this achievable: trade measures to defend the local poultry industry from predatory trade practices, like dumping.”

As a result of these defensive trade measures, the Poultry industry has managed to make substantial investments in local industrial development, adding over 1300 new jobs to date, with many more employment opportunities to come, chief among which are the emerging black contract growers that have proven to be successful, as these farmers have access to mentorship, business and technical support, and a guaranteed market for their goods.

Among its members, emerging black contract growers are farming 12.6 million birds at the moment, and this will increase to 16 million birds over the course of the next 12 months. In the last two years alone, black farmers have built 79 poultry houses to the value of R355m, while the industry invested a further R1.14 billion to create markets for these additional chickens. By way of example, SAPA’s first black hatchery owner has expanded from hatching 7 000 birds per week to now doing 28 000 birds per week, and by the end of the year they will achieve 50 000 chicks per week to supply the independent market. This is massive for emerging farmers, and for South Africa.

“These advances would not have been possible if the local industry was still subjected to unregulated dumped imports. While the Poultry Association is currently focused on co-creating the necessary veterinarian capacity and inspection infrastructure to accelerate Sanitary and Phytosanitary certification to be able to export more of South Africa’s locally produced poultry, dumping remains a major concern and a major threat to local producers and consumers.”

“We hope to have a decision on anti-dumping duties against the countries that seek to exploit the South African market; It is these dumped imports that have had the local industry in a stranglehold for several years, causing South African producers to lay off thousands of workers and close production facilities, harming our communities and economy,” concluded Breitenbach.

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