The South African poultry industry has defended its application for a hike in import tariffs of frozen chicken portions to 82%, saying the cheap chicken imports mainly from Brazil hurt the competitiveness of local producers. The steep tariffs, for bone-in and boneless portions, will shield the local industry from dumped portions and save thousands of jobs. The poultry industry employed about 50,000 people directly and another 50,000 indirectly, according to Izaak Breitenbach of the SA Poultry Association (Sapa). Writing in RCL Foods’ 2018 annual report, chair Jannie Durand said the local poultry and sugar industries were exposed to unmitigated dumping of excess supply from foreign markets, which destabilised these industries. According to Sapa’s poultry meat imports report for October 2018, which is based on SA Revenue Service’s (Sars’) statistics, total poultry imports between January and October 2018 amounted to 483,900 tons. In 2017, the total value of imports was R6.4bn. Breiten...

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