EU West Africa Dairy Sector Developments

Summary
European dairy companies continue to expand their operations in West Africa, with the region being seen as one with tremendous market potential.  While some companies are seeking to support local dairy sector development as part of their market expansion strategies, this is by no means universal. Since 2014 low global bulk dairy commodity prices have compounded the existing challenges faced in developing local milk-to-dairy supply chains in West Africa. This suggests a need for a sector wide approach to dairy sector development involving a commitment by all EU dairy companies to responsible patterns of trade and investment, designed to support the gradual growth in local milk-to-dairy supply chains. Read more “EU West Africa Dairy Sector Developments”

Surges in onion exports to Mauritania could close off longer term opportunities for Dutch exports

 

Summary
In a context where West Africa is the major destination for extra-EU Dutch onion exports, surges of Dutch onion exports to Mauritania are severely depressing local onion prices. This is in part linked to the closure of the Russian market. This could provoke trade restrictions in Mauritania in an effort to protect local onion producers. Any moves to restrict onion imports into Mauritania would need to be closely linked to targeted efforts to strengthen the functioning of local onion supply chains. Experience elsewhere in Africa, in a country facing similar environmental conditions, namely Namibia, could hold important lessons for Mauritanian onion sector trade policy. Read more “Surges in onion exports to Mauritania could close off longer term opportunities for Dutch exports”

UK WTO representative seeks to clarify future UK trade treatment of developing countries

Addendum to Article
UK government commits to extending EBA access for LDCs post Brexit

Following on from the 24th June 2017 UK government statement entitled ‘Government pledges improved post-Brexit access to UK markets for world’s poorest countries’(1), the UK representative to the UN and Other International Organisations in Geneva sought to clarify UK policy towards non-LDC developing countries.  In a letter to fellow representatives to the UN, which was copied to WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo, Julian Braithwaite declared the UK government’s commitment to ‘avoiding disruption for our trading partners as we leave the European Union’. It was stated ‘the UK has decided to replicate its existing trade regime in the WTO in new UK-only schedules’. This was announced on response to questions from WTO members as to ‘what will happen to the nearly £20 billion of exports to the UK from developing countries who benefit from special tariff preferences’. Read more “UK WTO representative seeks to clarify future UK trade treatment of developing countries”

UK government commits to extending EBA access for LDCs post Brexit

Summary

The UK has committed to extending in the immediate post-Brexit period the non-reciprocal duty free access granted LDCs under the EU’s current EBA initiative. However action was expected given the long standing UK support for duty free-quota free (DFQF) access for LDCs. The issue has always been whether current DFQF access enjoyed by ACP non-LDCs would be extended from 30th March 2019. This issue remains unclear, with the UK government solely making a commitment to explore options for maintaining existing trade arrangements. Read more “UK government commits to extending EBA access for LDCs post Brexit”

ACP rice exporters and Brexit

Summary
In terms of trade with the EU the UK is not a major market for ACP rice exporters.  However the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU on ACP rice exporters will not be felt via changes to UK rice import tariffs, but rather as a result of the increased competition on the smaller EU27 market, where the departure of the UK will reduce overall EU rice import demand by around 23% while the EU’s TRQ market access commitments under existing bilateral agreements will remain unchanged. The removal of UK import demand is also likely to exacerbate the competitive challenges which ACP rice exporters face as a result of the DFQF access granted to LDC rice exporters to the EU. This measure saw imports from the main LDC rice exporters to the EU increase from under 7,500 tonnes in 2007 to around 500,000 tonnes in 2015 and 2016. Read more “ACP rice exporters and Brexit”

ACP citrus exporters and Brexit: Part 1 The Case of South Africa

 

Summary
For South Africa both challenges and opportunities arise in the citrus sector as a result of the Brexit process. The first challenge, in common with other ACP citrus exporters, is to retain existing preferential access to the UK market. South Africa could also benefit from the dismantling of strict CBS controls on exports to the UK. Unlike other ACP citrus exporters, South Africa could also gain some marginal benefits from the immediate removal of current seasonal tariffs on its citrus exports. However, securing these benefits will be dependent on the UK pursuing a ‘hard Brexit, which may now be less likely following the UK June 2017 election result. In addition, if no new trade arrangement is set in place between the UK and EU27 from 30th March 2019 and MFN duties are imposed on mutual trade, South Africa could see new market opportunities emerge in the citrus sector in trade with the UK, given Spain’s current role as the dominant supplier to the UK. These opportunities however will exist only on the fringes of the existing season. Read more “ACP citrus exporters and Brexit: Part 1 The Case of South Africa”

ACP banana exporters and Brexit

Summary
Brexit is likely to give rise to 3 distinct challenges for ACP banana exporters: retaining preferential access to the UK market; dealing with the market consequences of a possible abolition of duties on banana imports into the UK; dealing with the increased competition on EU27 markets as a result of the application of banana sector TRQs under bilaterally negotiated EU FTAs. While to date overall ACP banana exporters have expanded their exports to the EU28 despite expanded TRQ access for $ banana suppliers, the situation varies greatly between different ACP exporters. With Caribbean small island banana exporters largely being squeezed out of EU markets since 2007. However, the past strong trade performance of some ACP banana exporters since 2007 is no guarantee of future competitiveness. Market adjustment support may be required to ACP producers and exporters in adjusting to the market consequences of Brexit in the banana sector. The EC will also need to take account of the impact of expanded TRQ access on ACP banana suppliers in its application of the stabilisation mechanism set in place to protect EU banana producers. Read more “ACP banana exporters and Brexit”

Difficult context for Guyanese sugar sector restructuring faced

Summary
The government of Guyana has announced plans to restructure and downsize the sugar sector, with a focus on the production of direct consumption and specialty sugars for national regional and preferential markets. Revenue diversification through electricity co-generation will also be promoted. Guyana will need to strengthen its marketing infrastructure if it is to be able to compete on regional markets, given the wider trade consequences of EU sugar sector reforms. While EU markets will no longer be a focus, opportunities could exist for the development of new partnerships for the marketing of specialty sugars in Europe.  Read more “Difficult context for Guyanese sugar sector restructuring faced”

EC rejects SAPA allegations of dumping of poultry parts

Summary
In the face of an ongoing campaign against poultry meat imports from the EU led by SAPA, the EC continues to deny accusations of ‘dumping’, placing a very narrow construction on the concept. While the AI outbreaks have provided some short term relief to the South African poultry sector, this is not seen as providing a long term solution. Calls by the South African authorities for an international initiative to address the structural surplus of ‘brown meat’ on international markets, continue to be ignored by the European Commission. Read more “EC rejects SAPA allegations of dumping of poultry parts”

Footloose nature of EU poultry meat exports to Africa highlighted by AI restrictions

Summary
While AI outbreaks are expected to reduce EU poultry exports in 2017, there is no evidence of this in the first two months of 2017, with strong growth in EU exports to sub-Saharan African markets north of South Africa. Recent corporate takeovers in the poultry sector could lead to a strengthening of the focus on sub-Saharan African markets. Recent trends highlight the ‘footloose’ nature of EU poultry meat exports, with markets being sought where minimal import controls are applied. Read more “Footloose nature of EU poultry meat exports to Africa highlighted by AI restrictions”