Peter Stossel, international adviser for Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, told Farmer’s Weekly that he didn’t think that the anti-dumping investigation against Brazil is fair.
He was part of a Brazilian trade mission sent to South Africa to increase bilateral trade between the two countries. “We are not dumping chicken. The poultry imports from Brazil would only have developed if it was good for both sides.”
An investigation into imports of whole birds and boneless chicken cuts from Brazil was launched earlier this year by the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) after numerous complaints by poultry bodies in SA.
In the first nine months of 2011, Brazilian poultry exports to South Africa totalled US4,34 million (about R1,2 billion). “Our poultry products are cheaper than South Africa’s because the cost of feed is cheaper in Brazil due to a lower maize price. Our agricultural value chain is also more efficient.”
But Kevin Lovell, CEO of the South African Poultry Association, said that he had no doubt that Brazil was dumping chicken in SA. “Although Brazil’s chicken imports into SA don’t exceed the 20% allowed by law, the effect on the industry has been considerable.
“Brazil has a big problem because the US has distorted the poultry market,” said Lovell. The US has a big demand for chicken breasts, which means that the producers are left with large amounts of wings and legs which can’t be sent to the same market. They have to sell it to other countries at a lower price.”
Stossel said Brazil has approached several companies and co-ops in SA with which to partner. “We want to expand our poultry industry into the rest of Africa with SA as the hub for the industry,” Stossel explained. The ITAC investigation is expected to release its findings early next year. – Lindi van Rooyen