The EU says the link between imports from the bloc and "alleged disturbances" in the South African chicken market is not clearly established — especially in relation to two years of drought in SA. South African chicken producers and the Food and Allied Workers Union have criticised the Department of Trade and Industry, saying it is doing nothing while thousands of workers are losing their jobs, mainly because of EU imports. But the EU says there "appears to have been no real consideration" of the jump in local feed costs in 2016, which make up to 75% of the cost of raising a chicken. "Alleged inefficiencies" may also hamper the competitiveness of South African producers, it says. Massimo De Luca, head of trade and economics at the delegation of the EU to SA, says: "There can be little doubt that the cost of chicken in SA has been negatively impacted by the recent drought." He also says other factors, such as the "quality of imported chicken", might also play a role. On December 15, ...

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