A hen is seen at a farm outside Hanoi February 14, 2008. Bird flu has killed a 40-year-old Vietnamese man who might have been infected after eating sick chickens, state-run media said on Thursday. His death is the second in Vietnam from avian influenza this year. REUTERS/Kham (VIETNAM)


Cape Town - Consumers are unlikely to be suddenly paying more for poultry following the provisional duties imposed on imports of frozen bone-in chicken from Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

Farmers and importers say they expect the price of frozen chicken to remain unchanged.

SA Poultry Association chief executive Kevin Lovell said yesterday that prices would be affected only in a few months – if at all.

David Wolpert, chief executive of the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters of SA, said no immediate price increases were expected, but “protectionism always results in price increases”.

The International Trade Administration Commission of SA introduced the provisional duties – ranging from 22 percent to 72 percent – on frozen bone-in portions last week as a measure against dumping, pending the findings of an investigation into this suspected practice.

The commission launched its probe after finding evidence that suggested that frozen chicken was being imported at dumping prices into South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Lovell said the duties would neutralise the unfair competition from Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

“The new duties will initially protect existing jobs. If the importers struggle to find alternative sources of dumped products, we may be able to create jobs.”

The industry employs about 130 000 people in direct and indirect jobs. The new anti-dumping duties on imported products make up 10 percent of consumption.

Imports account for about 20 percent, or 33 000 tons, of the chicken consumed each month. This includes 12 000 tons used in polony and viennas. The provisional duties are to remain place until January 2. Permanent duties may be implemented, depending on the investigation’s findings.

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Cape Times