The International Trade Administration Commission in Pretoria, the capital, imposed provisional duties of 22 percent to 73 percent on frozen bone-in portions from the three countries, it said in a statement today. The move follows an application by the South African Poultry Association in October.
Imports from the European Union nations covered by the steps amount to dumping under World Trade Organization rules and standards, Kevin Lovell, head of the poultry association, said by phone from Johannesburg. “This is not a punishment at all, it’s to ensure rules are followed.”
In September, South Africa increased tariffs on imports of whole birds to 82 percent, the maximum allowed, from 27 percent on shipments except those from EU countries, which usually enjoy favored-nation status. The anti-dumping investigation can take as long as 12 months, after which the trade minister will announce a final ruling on today’s steps.
“This does not mean they are not allowed to import here, just that it will be a little more expensive for them now,” the poultry association’s Lovell said. The measure is temporary and expires on Jan. 2.
The Association of Meat Importers and Exporters, a local lobby group, said it expects the steps to increase chicken prices.
The new duties are high, especially after local producers benefited from a drop in the price of corn fed to poultry, David Wolpert, chief executive officer of the importers’ organization, said in an e-mail. He estimated that the lower corn price has saved local suppliers about $650 million.