Brazil approaches WTO about SA poultry tariffs

16-02-2012 | | |
Brazil approaches WTO about SA poultry tariffs

Brazil’s poultry association has said it will ask the government to approach the World Trade Organization about South Africa imposing higher tariffs on its poultry imports.

These are “flagrant violations of the WTO’s anti-dumping agreement,” Ubabef markets director Francisco Turra said in a statement. “It’s clear that South African importers’ responses and information from Ubabef about how the costs of the Brazilian products are calculated weren’t considered, besides other technical failures.”

Import charges of 6-63% have been imposed on the poultry for six months, as initial information showed Brazilian producers are dumping products in South Africa and neighboring countries, Francois Dubbelman of Pretoria-based FC Dubbelman and Associates, which represents the South African Poultry Association, said yesterday.

South Africa imports 16% of all chicken consumed in the country, with 70% of that coming from Brazil, according to Ubabef. Brazilian exporters include BRF Brasil Foods SA, the world’s biggest poultry exporter, and Seara Alimentos, the pork and poultry unit of Marfrig Alimentos.

Ubabef’s marketing relations manager, Adriano Zerbini, yesterday questioned the process of the investigation. “Those products account for only 3% of total consumption in SA, that cannot possibly constitute dumping. The industry will be consulting with government to take the matter to the WTO.”

South Africa’s International Trade Administration Commission, which asked for the tariffs, will finalise its findings once interested parties have commented on the preliminary outcome.

Source: Bloomberg