Tariff hikes could spike chicken prices by 32%

Emerging Black importers and exporters SA (EBieSA) association, and the SA National Consumer Union (Sancu) yesterday criticised the local poultry industry for seeking protection against imports through an 82% tariff hike.

The hike, applied for by the SA Poultry Association (Sapa), could increase the price of boneless chicken by up to 32%, and bone-in chicken by 21%.

EBieSA chairperson Unati Speirs emphasizes that a hike of this magnitude would put further pressure on already struggling consumers.

According to Speirs the producers association is only looking to protect its members’ profit margin at the expense of the consumer.

The Bureau of Food and Agricultural Policy, in its latest report based on the effect of tariffs on individually quick frozen (IQF) wholesale prices that, showed that for every 10% increase in the IQF due to tariff hikes, consumers could pay up to 4,7% more for the product.

Local producers, according to Sancu vice chairperson Cliff Johnston, are only able to produce 70% of the chicken required to feed the country, the remaining 30% is imported.

“Imports play a key role in keeping chicken prices in check,” he said.

Sapa stated that imports are in fact hurting the local industry.

“The current duties failed to make up for the unfair trade posed by the fact that international producers, such as Brazil, have considerably lower production costs, thanks to substantial government subsidies, making imports harder to compete with,” said Izaak Breitenbach, the association’s general manager said.

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