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South Africa ramps up poultry tariffs

SOUTH AFRICA has ramped up tariffs on imported poultrymeat following sustained campaigning by the country’s poultry sector.

On Friday the country posted updated tariffs to the country’s national Gazette.

It comes a week after the country lifted long-standing avian influenza-related bans on many European countries, including the Netherlands.

The European Union will not be subject to the increases becasue of their tariff-free market access established under the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Southern Africa Development Community and the European Union.

Bone-in chicken portions increased from 37% to 62%, while boneless portions went up to 42% from 12%.

South Africa is an important market for European and Brazilian poultrymeat, in particular bone-in products.

The domestic poultry sector has long argued that imported meat undermines their market.

‘Protection’

The Fair Play Movement campaigns to restrict poultrymeat imports. It says that “predatory” imports cost jobs, growth and poultry sector expansion.

It welcomed the new tariffs but said they may not go far enough.

Founder Francois Baird said: “The SA chicken industry is in trouble because imports have grabbed nearly 30% of the local market. Real protection for the local industry, and a spur to job creation, would be to limit imports to 10% of local sales.

“Restrictions in the EU have kept chicken imports in that region to about 7%, so a sharp cutback here would be possible.”