UBABEF market relations manager Adriano Nogueira Zerbini told GlobalMeatNews: “We have asked the Brazilian authorities to ask for consultations with South Africa, under the WTO, to question some aspects of this dumping investigation, which is unfair and harms South African consumers. WTO was not our first choice, but it seems that it might be the way to solve this issue.”
The announcement comes after South African Trade Minister Rob Davies said he did not believe Brazil would go to the WTO on the issue. According to Bloomberg, Davies said there was “no big crisis” with the South American country, and there had been “a certain amount of exaggeration” about whether this would go to the WTO or not.
At the Financial Times summit on sustainable agriculture in Brazil last month, UBABEF president Francisco Turra said that although the levy would not greatly affect Brazilian exports, it was unjustified and needed to be removed. He told GlobalMeatNews: “This kind of investigation comes from pressure from local producers, who try to protect the local industry, but the thing is that Brazil does not threaten the local industry in South Africa or anywhere else in the world.
“The preliminary anti-dumping duties imposed recently by South Africa will have a small impact on Brazilian exports, as they are specific to a certain number of products, but we think that they are unjustified and we are continuing to work with Brazilian authorities, as well as South African authorities and importers, in order to overcome this problem.”
At the beginning of February, South Africa applied a levy of 6% to 62% on frozen cuts and whole birds from Brazil, following allegations that exporters practised price-dumping on the South African market. The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) welcomed the move, which is meant to last until 10 August 2012.
“Brazil has not adhered to the principles of fair trade and their performance in accessing the South African market has not been conducted in an entirely fair manner. As this finding is made in terms of WTO rules as a preliminary finding, we look forward to the final determination in due course,” the association said.