Brazil Claims SA Industry Body Inflated Poultry Imports
The South African Poultry Association “grossly overstated official import statistics” in submissions to the investigation into poultry imports from Brazil, documents addressed to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from Brazil claimed.
According to BusinessDay, the claims by the Brazilians sought to cast doubt on the integrity of SA’s trade practices, in a dispute that dents two emerging economies which in recent years have worked on forging closer economic and political relations.
Last week Brazil announced that it had taken the dispute between its poultry association, headed by Francisco Turra, and SA’s organisation to the WTO, saying SA ha d been “uncooperative”.
“SA did not make an objective examination, based on positive evidence of the volumes of dumped imports and the effects of prices in the domestic market,” Brazil’s foreign ministry says in its document to the WTO.
Submissions by the Association of Meat Importers and Exporters of SA, which has also applied for a review of the decision to impose provisional duties on certain cuts of chicken from Brazil, also concur with Brazil’s submission to the WTO.
Association CEO David Wolpert said that not only were the statistics submitted by SA’s poultry body to the International Trade Administration Commission of SA (Itac) investigation into poultry dumping incorrect, but they inflated the imports from Brazil by 54 per cent.
“These misinterpreted stats were also used to hide the fact that Argentina exported significantly higher volumes at lower prices to SA,” he said.
Mr Wolpert claims the import statistics provided by SA’s poultry association are “fundamentally incorrect” and do not reconcile to the official statistics from the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
However, Itac refuted claims that it has used the incorrect data, saying the statistics were obtained from SARS.
“Further consideration made by the commission on this issue, based on comments to the preliminary report received from the interested parties, will be detailed in the commission’s final report to be released in due course,” said communication manager Thembinkosi Gamlashe.
Brazil also claims SA failed to give exporters ample opportunities to present evidence prior to the imposition of provisional duties.
Mr Wolpert said some documents were disregarded by the commission due to technicalities.
Itac said that all interested parties were given opportunities to provide information in a format required by the commission’s regulations and questionnaires were sent to interested parties.