The Mexican Unit of Foreign Trade Practices (UPCI) is expected to publish the results of its 18-month investigation next week, with the conclusion that dumping did occur. However, the Mexican Foreign Trade Commission (COCEX) has announced that, for now, it will not impose any punitive dumping duties on US chicken.
COCEX said that the decision to waive the duties had been taken as a result of the rising cost of food in Mexico, with poultry and corn costs soaring as a result of a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak and poor crops. The group noted that it might re-introduce dumping duties in the future if it is deemed to be in the interests of Mexican consumers.
The National Chicken Council (NCC) and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), which have campaigned fiercely against anti-dumping duties and this week met with Mexican officials to discuss the issue, welcomed the news. However, they said that they questioned the Mexican government’s finding that dumping had taken place.
NCC president Mike Brown said: “We are pleased with the decision by COCEX to prevent implementation of any duties, but we strongly disagree with the finding of dumping.
“We continue to maintain that Mexico’s basis for making such a determination is flawed and that international bodies would not support such a finding.”
Mexican poultry company Bachoco said that it disagreed with COCEX’s decision, arguing that more than 80% of chicken sold by Mexican producers would not be subject to anti-dumping duties, and they would therefore not have a big impact on poultry prices.
Mexico anti-dumping investigation last year, after Mexican poultry companies accused US exporters of sending chicken leg quarters to Mexico at below-market prices. The government was considering imposing duties in the range of 62.9% to 129.77%.
A report from the US’ Iowa State University, published in May, found the duties would eliminate 250,000 chicken leg quarters from the Mexican marketplace, which would push up poultry prices by 22.4%, leaving many Mexican consumers unable to afford poultry meat. It also found that the duties would damage the US poultry industry, which currently exports 250,000 tonnes of chicken leg quarters to Mexico every year.