June 9, 2018
China will impose temporary anti-dumping measures on imports of Brazilian chicken meat, at the same time as the United States pressures Beijing to reopen its market to American poultry products.
Chinese importers of Brazilian chicken will be required to pay deposits ranging from 18.8 percent to 38.4 percent of the value of their shipments from June 9.
A preliminary ruling from the ministry found that Chinese producers had been “substantially damaged” by shipments from Brazil between 2013 and 2016, when the country supplied more than half of China’s imports of chicken meat.
The anti-dumping measures are another blow to Brazilian meatpackers, who are still recovering from a food safety scandal last year and a May truckers’ protest that forced farms to cull some 70 million chickens due to a lack of feed.
They also show how third-party countries like Brazil, the world’s largest chicken exporter, could become collateral damage as the U.S. and China look for ways to head off a trade war.
About 9 percent of Brazil’s chicken exports went to China last year, according to ABPA, which said the flows were likely to be maintained due to strong Chinese demand.
A Brazilian industry source said the Chinese commerce ministry had proposed further negotiations with exporters, including the possibility of setting a floor price for exports to China. It is not yet clear if the industry would accept such a proposal.
Brazilian exporters should be able to absorb the impact of the deposits, particularly for chicken feet, which would otherwise have no value. China is not the most important market (for Brazil), but in value it’s quite important as it takes all the byproducts.
It is not clear what will happen to shipments already on the way to China. An anti-dumping deposit levied on sorghum from the United States in April caused chaos in the grains trade, with dozens of cargoes stranded as importers tried to resell to other markets to avoid paying the tariffs.
Broiler chicken prices in China have recovered significantly since last year, when they fell to decade-lows after hundreds of people died from contracting the H7N9 bird flu virus.