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Poultry exports to Africa continue to grow

The report Global poultry trends 2013, published byThepoultrysite.comin November 2013, highlights rising imports of poultry meat into Africa, as the considerable increase in domestic production fails to keep pace with growing demand. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the Africa/Middle East region will likely account for 64 per cent of the rise in world poultry imports over the next decade, with imports into developing countries projected to grow at 3.4% per annum.

The leading African chicken meat importers are South Africa, Angola, Ghana, Benin and Republic of Congo, with these five countries accounting for almost 80% of sub-Saharan African chicken meat imports in 2011.

Leading African chicken meat importers (tonnes)

South Africa Angola Ghana Benin Republic of Congo Total sub-Saharan Africa
2000 72,000 49,000 12,000 40,000 21,000 253,853
2006 260,000 130,000 57,000 29,000 23,000 601,813
2007 239,000 138,000 75,000 46,000 28,000 662,589
2008 191,000 171,000 72,000, 67,000 56,000 696,211
2009 206,000 161,000 79,000 77,000 58,000 747,615
2010 240,000 239,000 109,000 98,000 84,000 936,522
2011 325,000 287,000 155,000 104,000 77,000 1,216,733
2012 371,000 301,000 167,000 124,000 93,000 n.a.
2013* 395,000 330,000 172,000 125,000 100,000 n.a.

Note: * forecast

Source: USDA, cited inThepoultrysite.com, Global poultry trends 2013, 13 November 2013, Table 3

Since 2000, sub-Saharan Africas share of total chicken meat imports has increased from 4% to 10%. As a consequence, Africa plays an increasingly significant role in global imports of fresh/frozen chicken meat. The largest proportional increase in chicken meat imports was to Ghana, while the largest absolute increase in chicken meat imports was to South Africa, followed by Angola. By 2012, South Africas chicken meat imports represented some 20 per cent of total market supplies.

At the end of September 2013, the market effects of these imports saw the South African government raise the general tariff on five categories of imported chicken products (see Agritradearticle , 17 November 2013). However, as a result of the EUSouth Africa Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), EU exporters continued to enjoy duty-free access to the South African market. With EU exporters playing a major role in the chicken meat trade, the South African Poultry Association has applied for the TDCA safeguard provisions to be invoked to deal with what the Association claims is dumping. According to EC reports, EU poultry meat exports are projected to continue to grow in 2013 (+1%), despite the phasing out of export refunds on whole frozen poultry carcasses.

In West Africa, chicken meat imports into Ghana are projected to be three times higher in 2013 than in 2006. Benin, meanwhile, is projected to have imported 125,000 tonnes of chicken meat in 2013, with both a large-scale re-export trade (42,000 tonnes in 2011, when imports were 25% lower) and an extensive unofficial trade. In November 2013, the national press reported that Nigerian customs destroyed further consignments of chicken meat smuggled from Benin. According to the Nigerian Customs Comptroller General, until countries within the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) harmonize their treaties, tariff systems and nomenclatures, the issue of smuggling will not be permanently addressed. In the case of poultry, the root problem lies in the very different import policies of Nigeria and Benin.