Lindsay Mitchell

Apr 08, 2016  |  Today's News

U.S. chicken is on grocery shelves in South Africa for the first time in nearly 17 years.

Five containers of U.S. bone-in chicken leg quarters and drumsticks from Tyson Foods and House of Raeford Farms arrived at the Port of Durban on Feb. 19, and were cleared by South African veterinary authorities on Feb. 22. The chicken cuts have been repackaged under the Jwayelani Butcheries brand and are now for sale at the company’s 21 shops in and around Durban.

South Africa imposed prohibitive anti-dumping duties on imports of U.S. bone-in chicken cuts in 2000, effectively closing the door on its market to U.S. product. Last year, however, the Obama administration threatened to withhold benefits to South Africa under the Africa Growth and Opportunity if South Africa did not reopen its market to U.S. chicken, beef and pork.

An agreement negotiated between the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) and the South African Poultry Association (SAPA), and approved by their respective governments, established an annual import quota for U.S. chicken cuts of 65,000 metric tons. The Obama Administration set a deadline of March 15 for South Africa to fully comply with the agreement on imports of poultry and other meats.

“We’re delighted to hear that the first shipment of U.S. chicken under the agreement has landed and has met South Africa’s import requirements,” said USAPEEC President Jim Sumner. “We understand that several other shipments are en route and will arrive before March 15. We also believe that the quota amount for the period will be met.”

Illinois Corn Marketing Board is a USAPEEC funder, helping to grow markets for domestic poultry (value-added corn) around the world.  This is just one important example of the importance of international relationships and boots-on-the-ground trade groups in growing markets for U.S. corn.