BULAWAYO, January 13 (The Source) – Zimbabwe imported about 1,5 million kilogrammes of chicken valued at $800,000 from South Africa between January and September last year, figures not captured in official statistics, the Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) has said.
The association further charges that the state lost $2,25 million in unpaid duty.
Zimbabwe imposed a duty of $1,50 per kilogramme on imported chicken in 2012 in a bid to protect local producers, but this has done little to curb the inflows.
In an industry update, ZPA chairperson Solomon Zawe said of particular concern was the fact that statistics reported by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) were not being captured by local authorities, suggesting that illegal imports were continuing unabated.
In the first six months of 2014, two million kg of chicken were similarly imported into the country, with $3 million in levies lost to the taxman.
“According to the SARS dataset, between March and September 2015, an average of 196 tonnes of chicken have entered the country each month,” said Zawe.
“The formal broiler market (supermarkets) absorbs approximately 2,500 tonnes. These imports therefore represent eight percent of the formal broiler market and hence the impact on the sector.”
The grey imports were 178,392 kg in January; 303,314 kg in March; 276,254 kg in April, SARS documents show. In May, the imports were 201,316 kg; 159,398 kg in June; 280,636 kg in July; 52,280 kg in August and 98,408 kg in September. No figures were given for Febbruary.
“The average price per kg of $0.52 suggests that the product is being under-declared or is time-expired,” Zawe noted.
Chicken imports, particularly from Brazil and South Africa, have continued to flood the local market, choking the local poultry industry.