South Africa has accused Brazil of flooding its market with cheap chicken, damaging the domestic industry as Brazil's imports have increased by 40 percent in the last year, according to reports.
More than 1 billion chickens are consumed annually in South Africa, and the poultry industry employs more than 48,000 people directly and 60,000 more indirectly. Specialists have said that 3,000 jobs could disappear due to the sudden influx of Brazilian poultry. In 2011, 60 percent of all chickens imported to South Africa came from Brazil. “There is too much chicken floating around in South Africa, so there’s a depressed market and the prices are unnaturally low,” said Kevin Lovell, CEO of the South African Poultry Association. "[South African] companies are either running at a loss or very close to doing that at present with the current pricing levels.”
Brazil has gone to the World Trade Organization over the accusation. "It is a big deal for us as Brazilians," said Pedro Luiz Carneiro de Mendoca, Brazil's ambassador to South Africa. "We are not dumping [chickens], we are not undercutting. If we don't take any action, we will be saying other countries are right in accusing us of dumping." Overall trade between South Africa and Brazil has quadrupled since 2001.