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South African poultry imports destructive

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South African poultry producer Astral has warned that cheap imports coming into the country threaten to destroy South Africa’s poultry industry.

The group said its operating profit dropped 22 percent to R429 million, down from R550m for the six months to March as a result of the imports.

Chief executive Chris Schutte said yesterday that the outlook for the business was not looking good;

“The price of feeds will remain high. In our annual presentation in November we cautioned the market that trading conditions were going to be challenging given the outlook for an El Niño weather phenomenon and the continued high level of poultry imports.”

It said the poultry division felt the brunt of the imports, stating that cheap poultry imports in the last six months had put the company under severe pressure.