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UBABEF Applauds Govt Decision at WTO

by 5m Editor
22 June 2012, at 9:44am

BRAZIL - On 12 June, Francisco Turra, Executive President of the Brazilian Poultry Association (UBABEF), lauded a decision by CAMEX (Chamber of Foreign Trade) for the Foreign Ministry (Itamaraty) to move forward on a formal consultation with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the application of provisionary surcharges on South Africa for dumping done against Brazilian chicken exports.

"If the issue is not resolved at the consulting stage and a panel needs to be called, I am absolutely sure that the outcome will be victory for Brazil, based on the total lack of support for the measures adopted by South African government. This unjustified antidumping duty is bad for the processing industry which uses the Brazilian product and creates jobs in South Africa and for the consumer, who is already suffering with higher prices ," said Mr Turra.

The measures were adopted by the South African government in February of this year and have affected exports of whole chickens and boneless chicken cuts, which are subject to surcharges of 62.93 per cent and 46.59 per cent, respectively. These surcharges are added to regular import tariffs, which are 5 per cent for whole chickens and 27 per cent for boneless cuts.

According to arguments submitted by UBABEF to the government, the South African measure violates the WTO antidumping agreement, since information submitted by the Brazilian association, Brazilian exporters and South African importers was not considered.

UBABEF data show that 160 thousand tons of chicken was exported to South Africa in 2009. In 2010, this volume was 181 thousand tons, and in 2011, 195 thousand tons. Boneless cuts accounted for 10 per cent and whole chickens for 4 per cent of exports in 2010, the year being investigated for dumping. South Africa imports 16 per cent of all domestically consumed chicken (with 70 per cent of this amount coming from Brazil.) The other 84 per cent comes from local producers. The Brazilian poultry products being investigated for dumping account for approximately 4 per cent of the total sold in the South African market.

After analyzing documents and arguments from the poultry industry, the government consulted with South Africa's government informally on the issue. Because there was no response, Camex decided on a formal consultation with the WTO.

"We tried the most varied means possible for negotiating with the South African government, from visits to the South African Embassy in Brazil to missions to Johannesburg. This is not a path I would like to go down, but there are no other alternatives regarding this injustice which has resulted in annual losses of US$ 70 million. It makes it awkward for the two countries' existing friendship to be compromised by such an unreasonable attitude, totally lacking reciprocity with the trust that Brazil has placed in this relationship. It is good to remember that right before the announcement of this antidumping measure, Airport Company South Africa (ACSA), of South Africa, along with the Brazilian holding company Invepar, won a concession bid for Guarulhos International Airport," explains Mr Turra.