Here comes controversy…..
this last week the Department of Trade and Industry announced import rebates on poultry.
The South African Poultry Association has reacted with ‘disbelief’. No doubt they will attempt once again to push skewed statistics to claim that importers are flooding the South African market with cut-price chicken. In order to head off that tactic, ChickenFacts has published a Fact Sheet with charts showing import statistics, so that the public can draw their own conclusions.
However, what the brouhaha seems to have missed completely, is that these are temporary, partial, and conditional rebates. Here is a very good outline of what the rebates actually are and what they mean.
There is still no sign of any of the promised government compensation for poultry farmers who suffered losses from Avian Flu, says Sunday Times Business.
Which is an odd report, because the Department announced in October last year that it did not have the funds to compensate farmers.
However, the claim that there were no shortages of chicken and the price did not go up, is only half true.
Our price chart with statistics from the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity group (PMBEJD) shows that the price of frozen individual chicken (IQF) – which is the type of chicken mostly bought by lower-income consumers, did in fact increase by almost 6% over the last three months of the year. The price of eggs rose by a whopping 41% between September and November.
Nigeria, Africa’s second-largest producer of poultry, is experiencing headwinds caused by government policies and the rising price of maize. There are three lessons here for South Africa: Brazil learned early on to invest first in their feed business before building up their poultry industry; Nigeria cannot meet demand for chicken or eggs which might be good news for SA exports; and that if the world economy sneezes, agriculture catches a cold.