Photo by Lukas from Pexels.
Photo by Lukas from Pexels.
  • Experts believe chicken prices will likely increase from next week when the state introduces import tariffs. 
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa last week said the state will introduce the tariffs by the end of next week to support the local industry. 
  • Local producers only produced 27% of the increased chicken demand in South Africa between 2010 and 2017, research has shown. 
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA's home page.

South African chicken prices can increase from next week when the South African government introduces additional import tariffs, experts believe. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week said that the state will introduce a new poultry import tariff to support the local industry by the end of next week.

The announcement follows repeated calls by the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) to increase tariffs to 82% to protect the local market from cheap imports.

Tariffs are currently at 12% for boneless chicken pieces, and 37% for frozen bone-in pieces. 

Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (Bfap)’s Tracy Davids told Business Insider when tariffs are introduced, it often leads to price increases for consumers. 

She said the final price increase depends on what level of tariffs are imposed and on which cuts. 

Davids, however, believes that tariffs are necessary to ensure the sustainability of a major agricultural sector, which employs hundreds of people. 

She said other countries such as India (69.8%), China (11.2%), Vietnam (21.4%), Kenya (25%) and Russia (60%) have introduced chicken tariffs to offset cheap imports from Western countries where wings and drum pieces are typically consumed less. 

FNB Agriculture information head’s Dawie Maree said they expect local poultry tariffs will increase to a maximum of 45%. 

“Price increases, if at all, on the local market will not be substantial [from the tariffs],” Maree told Business Insider South Africa. 

“Other factors influencing the consumer price will most probably have a bigger effect such as electricity and transport costs, feed costs, labour etc.” 

According to the Bfap’s own research, chicken accounts for 65% of the country’s meat consumption, and consumption has grown faster than any meat type the past decade. 

Only 27% of the increase in local chicken demand between 2010 and 2017 was produced domestically, and the other 73% imported, the Bfap found.

Information obtained from South African Market Insights (SAMI) showed that the local chicken price remained relatively constant from R47.41 per kilogram in Gauteng in March 2019, to R45.62 in November 2019.

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