South African poultry producers are under increasing pressure from imports that is likely to continue as production slows and prices rise, according to reports.

The country's imports from October 2010 to January 2011 were 33% higher than for the prior comparable period, and for December 2010 alone they were 42% higher than in December 2009, according to Chris Schutte, CEO of Astral Foods. Imports have been a concern for the industry over the last decade, said Schutte, and with the strength of the Rand imports are set to increase.

Earlier in 2011, Schutte predicted that from December 2010 to April 2011, local production was anticipated to remain lower, and while prices were also expected to remain low, they were, nevertheless, expected to be slightly higher than in 2010 and more-or-less in line with 2008 levels.