Johannesburg – It’s no secret that South Africans love chicken but the country’s favourite is becoming costly.
According to chief agricultural economist at the National Agricultural Marketing Council, Dr Sifiso Ntombela, the increase in prices is due to the exchange rate weakening just before the start of lockdown and new poultry import tariffs that were gazetted in March.
The tariff escalation limited the availability of cheaper imports in the country, says Ntombela.
This serves to protect the domestic poultry industry from the importation of cheaper products from other countries. However, local producers were hit hard by the exchange rate. As Ntombela points out: “…the devaluation of the rand impacted the cost of inputs used in the chicken industry such as soya oilcake.”
Disruptions in domestic and global agri-food supply chains caused by Covid-19 regulations also limited the processing and distribution of chicken, which contributed to the price acceleration and threatened households’ ability to access the meat.