MEDIA RELEASE 3 OCTOBER 2023:
In a recent article published in Business Live (October 1) on the dangers that bird flu poses for the SA economy, the local poultry producers association SAPA made comments that cannot go unchallenged.
Izaak Breitenbach, general manager of the Broiler Organisation of the South African Poultry Association, said this week the association believed importers would react to the outbreak by importing more chicken. He said that Brazil, the US and at least two European countries are in a position to export chicken to South Africa and that there was thus no need to recall the anti-dumping duties because imports were flowing in from Brazil over and above the anti-dumping duties. He continued that importers could be importing as much as 50 000 mt per month and that they would respond to the outbreak by importing a lot more.
“The reality of the situation from an import perspective of poultry into South Africa is the opposite of this statement,” says Paul Matthew, CEO of AMIE. “SAPA is disingenuous when it comes to imports by alluding to a figure of 50 000 mt per month. I really don’t know where they get these figures from, because the latest import statistics show that August 2023 imports (excluding MDM) were around 11 686 mt.”
“It is also extremely unrealistic to think that the world is waiting to assist South Africa with cheap poultry. Our local food service businesses have specific requirements and approval processes that take time to be negotiated and these cannot be substituted with imports overnight. World-wide, producers are cutting back on production. Additionally, our authorities are slow to open markets after avian flu outbreaks and hampers our trade relations. And the ultimate reality is that the imported chicken is no longer affordable because of the depreciating rand and increased duties.”
“Total meat imports include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and lamb products in August 2023 was 36040 mt. Bone-in chicken portions (the preferred pieces being leg quarters, drumsticks and wings) were only 3 238mt in August. This is down 43% year-on-year, and so to quote an amount of 50,000mt is completely misleading.”
For more context here are relevant links: