ChickenFacts Explainer

Association of Meat Importers and Exporters (AMIE) – Media Release

Issued by Paul Matthew, CEO AMIE

13 July 2023

Last year, Minister Patel suspended anti-dumping tariffs on imported bone-in chicken, in the interest of keeping chicken affordable for local consumers. However, that suspension is due to be revised in August, and lobbyists for the poultry industry are once again using skewed statistics to try to convince Minister Patel to reinstate the punitive tariffs.

As the CEO of AMIE, I wish to point out the following:

Imported Poultry

Imported poultry already carries an exceptionally high MFN duty rate of 62% on bone-in portions.

Lobbyists want the anti-dumping duties to be added onto those, which will potentially double or even triple the price of the imports,and allow local producers to substantially raise the price of their domestically-produced chicken as they will be cushioned from the competition.

Excess of 32% Drop in Imports

We all use the same statistics, and according to those statistics (tables below) it is easy to see there is in fact excess of a 32% drop in imports since the additional punitive tariffs were suspended.

We have to ask ourselves, in light of the substantial decrease in imports, what a reinstatement of additional tariffs will achieve, apart from providing even more protection for the local chicken producers’ profits and driving up the price of poultry, which will add to the strain on the already-overburdened consumer.

Mechanically Deboned Meat

Lobbyists also love to include MDM (Mechanically Deboned Meat, the main ingredient of processed meats such as polony and Vienna sausages) in their import statistics in order to make them look higher than they are. This is ingenuous because there is no local production of MDM. Without these imports, South Africans would have no access to affordable processed meat.

It is really regrettable that the local poultry is seeking more protection when they already are one of the most protected agricultural sectors in the country.


Graphs & Stats



During May 22 provisional anti-dumping duties were in place on Bone-in chicken imported from Brazil and South Africa imported 6 537mt, in May 23 when no anti-dumping duties were imposed Brazil exported 1 720mt of chicken bone-in cuts to South Africa. That’s a decrease of -74% with no anti-dumping duty imposed.

  • Looking over the period when the provisional anti-dumping duties were in place (Dec21-May22) and comparing that to the same period after the anti-dumping duties were suspended (Dec22-May23), bone-in imports from Brazil decreased by -32% as seen in the graph above.

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