China

Brazilian chicken suppliers under investigation for suspected dumping

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags: Chicken, World trade organization, International trade

China is investigating allegations of illegal dumping by Brazilian suppliers of broiler chicken onto its market.

Officials are acting after a complaint from domestic chicken processors that shipments from the South American country are being sold in China at below market value.

As the country’s biggest supplier, the action threatens exports worth more than US$1bn per year.

According to China’s commerce ministry, Brazil accounted for more than 50% of broiler product supplies to China between 2013 and 2016.

Almost 85% of frozen chicken imports were from Brazil, equating to almost 600,000 tonnes of meat.

Consequently, any antidumping action would have pose significant problems for the broiler supply chain in China, the world’s second-biggest poultry consumer.

A curb on imports would probably boost domestic prices and dent demand for chicken as a cheap alternative to pork.

Twenty-seven Brazilian countries, including majors BRF and JBS, have been named in the investigation, according to Reuters.

The Chinese government should make a final decision in a year, but a preliminary ruling could be unveiled as early as April 2018, according to the case documents and Chinese law, Kanas said.

It will not be the first time that China has set out to tackle alleged dumping, if the action does go ahead.

Beijing punished America with antidumping duties on broiler chicken in 2010, leading to Brazil’s emergence as China’s biggest chicken supplier.

Brazil replaced the US as China’s top chicken supplier after Beijing slapped antidumping duties on US broiler chicken products in 2010.

The country’s chicken producers’ association, ABPA, denied any involvement in price gouging by its members.

"We are very competitive and it is hard for the Chinese producer to understand​," said ABPA president Francisco Turra.

"Such complaints are normal and we can defend ourselves​."

Related topics: Business, East Asia, Supply chain, Meat, China

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