The South African Poultry Association is looking into bringing an anti-dumping case against Brazilian chicken imports, saying that some products are selling for a third of what they're selling for in their country of origin.
In particular, Astral Foods is concerned that unfair imports could hurt company profits.
Imports over Christmas were up 42% from 2009, translating into 21,5-million chicken carcasses or 5-million per week against local production of 18,5-million per week, Astral Foods CEO Chris Schutte said.
The strong rand in December saw poultry imports up to R3 cheaper per kilogram than locally produced product. "These portions are being sold at lower prices here than the country of origin. That constitutes dumping," Schutte said.
The industry is particularly concerned about the surge in imports of the leg quarter portion, as opposed to deboned chicken that still has to be processed. Importers of intact leg portions compete directly with producers for the individually quick frozen market, which accounts for 65%-70% of all chicken sold in SA.
"Opportunism" on the rand’s value was behind the rise in imports, he said. About 71% come from Brazil, with Argentina second on 10%.