Latest EC Projections Show Growing Export Orientation of EU Poultry Sector


The EU poultry sector trade is composed of low value exports and high value imports, with the EU being a net exporter in volume terms but a net importer in value terms. In recent years the export of frozen poultry parts has risen dramatically, with the importance of sub-Saharan African markets to EU exporters growing significantly. In the coming years continued growth in EU production, in the context of a slowing down of consumption growth, will see the importance of export markets to the EU poultry sector grow significantly. This will see greater importance being attached to maximising revenue flows from the export of residual poultry parts. In the context of EPA implementation this could see increased pressure on African governments to remove all forms of trade barriers to EU poultry meat exports. This could then carry serious consequences not only for domestic ACP poultry producers but grain producers who supply feed to the poultry industry. Read more “Latest EC Projections Show Growing Export Orientation of EU Poultry Sector”

Timelines and Pitfalls in the Brexit Process

The timeline for the negotiation of both the EU27/UK transitional trade arrangement and the long term framework for future EU27/UK relations are now clearer. What remains unclear is the legal basis for the transitional arrangement under EU and UK law as well as under WTO rules. This could lead to delays and a hiatus in trade relations.

Similar uncertainties arise in relation to transitional UK ‘roll-over’ trade arrangements with groupings of ACP countries engaged in EPA processes with the EU. This is not solely a UK issue but will require the agreement of the EU given the UK will continue to be subject to EU rules and regulations during the transition period. In addition there is the question of the WTO compatibility or acceptability of any transitional UK trade arrangements with groupings of ACP countries. Considerable technical and political challenges will need to be addressed in the coming months if the UK governments’ commitment to ACP countries in regard to ensuring continuity of market access is to be realised in practice. Read more “Timelines and Pitfalls in the Brexit Process”

Dramatic Changes Ahead in the EU Sugar Market

The EU sugar sector is entering a new period in its development with the abolition of sugar production quotas: boosting production at the same time as domestic consumption is contracting; lowering average prices; and doubling exports at the same time as imports are halved. This will impact not only on domestic EU markets but also international markets, given the growing global orientation of EU sugar companies and the increased price competitiveness of EU sugar production. This will transform the market context facing ACP sugar exporters as well as the competitive position of ACP producers on regional markets. This will make the continued use of non-tariff trade policy measures a critical policy issue.  This adverse market situation will be compounded by the market effects of Brexit, a policy development not yet factored into EC projections given the uncertainty surrounding the final EU27/UK post Brexit trade arrangements. Read more “Dramatic Changes Ahead in the EU Sugar Market”

South Africa and Ghanaian Poultry Industries to Joint Forces Against EU Dumping of Poultry Parts

Poultry producers and trade unions in South Africa and Ghana have joined the FairPlay anti-dumping movement in opposing dumping of EU poultry parts on African markets. In West Africa, the EU poultry trade is seen as fuelling migration pressures. Given the scale of EU exports to 38 sub-Saharan African countries, this is a pan-African issue. Pressures on EU exporters to find new markets beyond the EU’s borders will increase in the coming years driven by expanding EU production, accelerating export growth and possible Brexit related trade disruptions. The experience under the EU-South Africa trade agreement suggests action by African governments will need to reach beyond tariff measures, although the use of non-tariff measures will increasingly be constrained by the obligations entered into by African governments under the EPAs concluded with the EU.

More broadly EU trade practices (e.g. the import of live chickens from Ukraine for slaughtering in the EU) suggests a need for stricter traceability requirements and the enforcement of rules or origin requirements under trade agreements with the EU. Read more “South Africa and Ghanaian Poultry Industries to Joint Forces Against EU Dumping of Poultry Parts”

Namibian Grape Exporters Looking For More Direct Route to EU Market



Namibian grape exporters are exploring more cost effective ways of shipping cargo to EU markets. These discussions could usefully factor in the possibility of a ‘hard’ Brexit given the concerns being expressed by the European fruit and vegetable industry and UK freight industry in regard to the severe congestion at channel ports which could arise if no agreement is in place once the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019. While government initiatives vis a vis the UK and EU authorities respectively in the context of SACU-UK and SADC-EU dialogues would appear to be essential, in order to retain preferential access to the UK market and avoid disruption of triangular supply chains, it will be up to private sector operators to get to grips with the logistical challenges which a ‘hard’ Brexit would give rise to. Read more “Namibian Grape Exporters Looking For More Direct Route to EU Market”

More Proactive Role Emerging for EC in Promoting Common Application of EU SPS Measures?

Spanish pressure for the harmonised implementation of SPS controls across appears to be bearing some fruit, with an EC audit underway of SPS control systems at the main EU port of entry for South Africa citrus, Rotterdam. The Spanish industry is seeking to use new stricter EU FCM controls to ensure commercially damaging cold store treatment protocols are set in place, despite sustained South African efforts to combat both CBS and FCM. The ACP collectively needs to seek assurances form the EU Council that:

  1. SPS measures will not be used as a new form of protectionism;
  2. The EU remains committed to ensuring SPS measures are minimally trade distorting;
  3. The design and implementation of EU SPS measures will take account of the need of smallholder producers for low cost systems of compliance attainment and verification.

Read more “More Proactive Role Emerging for EC in Promoting Common Application of EU SPS Measures?”

Pre-emptive export restrictions introduced on South African citrus exports to EU


The Citrus Growers Association has once again introduced voluntary restrictions on citrus exports to the EU in order to avert any threat of formal EU import restrictions. While the South African citrus industry is looking forward to new export opportunities as a result of the Brexit process, these opportunities may well be deferred if a two year transition period is agreed. During this period the UK would need to remain subject to EU rules and regulation. The prospect of such a two year transition period however remains clouded by uncertainty, given the contrasting views of the UK government and EU negotiators on the time it will take to agree a long term EU27-UK trade framework. Read more “Pre-emptive export restrictions introduced on South African citrus exports to EU”

Global Market Context Far From Favourable in the Context of the End of EU Sugar Production Quotas


Projected global sugar price trends are unlikely to support EU sugar prices in the post quota abolition period. Caribbean and pacific ACP sugar exporters will be potentially the most vulnerable to EU price declines over the 2017/18 season. This situation could then be compounded by the sugar market effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, currently scheduled for 30th March 2019.  These effects however may be deferred following Prime Minister May’s acceptance that during the implementation period (transitional period) UK/EU27 trade would need to take place within ‘the existing structure of EU rules and regulations’.

Nevertheless there remain profound policy uncertainties around UK sugar market developments which make any projections of likely developments hazardous. Against this background over the coming years ACP sugar exporters will need to closely monitor developments in the Brexit negotiations and the evolution of UK’s autonomous trade policies as they impact on the sugar sector, in order to identify and exploit any market opportunities which might emerge. Read more “Global Market Context Far From Favourable in the Context of the End of EU Sugar Production Quotas”

EU poultry meat production rising despite avian flu outbreaks


Avian flu outbreaks have left overall EU poultry meat production largely unaffected. Although AI related restrictions reduced EU poultry meat export volumes in the first half of 2017, particularly to South Africa the largest single export destination (-63%). Export growth to Gabon, DRC and Ghana while extremely high (+120%;96% and 69% respectively) could not outweigh declines in EU exports to South Africa and Benin. Beyond the current AI crisis in the EU, expanding imports of whole birds from Ukraine, the impact of lower feed costs on EU production and possible Brexit related disruptions of the EU27-UK poultry trade, could all fuel a further expansion of EU exports to Africa. This could continue to inhibit efforts to promote local poultry sector development across Africa. Patterns of Belgium poultry meat exports suggest African governments need to pay closer attention to the origin of poultry meat imports nominally originating in particular EU member states. Read more “EU poultry meat production rising despite avian flu outbreaks”

UK Area Under Sugar Beet Set to Surge



A major expansion of the area under sugar beet in the UK (+ 1/3) is planned in 2017/18, with potentially a further major expansion by 2020 if current investment plans of Al Khaleej International to re-establish sugar beet processing in Yorkshire are approved. While a failure to conclude a UK-EU27 trade agreement could open up new export opportunities for ACP sugar suppliers to the UK, this would be strongly influenced by future UK sugar sector tariff policy. If tariffs remain unchanged the source of ACP sugar imported into the UK could shift from the Caribbean and Pacific suppliers to lower cost Southern African suppliers. UK government policy statements suggest Southern African LDC sugar exporters would enjoy the most secure commitment to continued duty free-quota free access for sugar exports to the UK market post Brexit, providing them with an inside track in pending negotiations over supply agreements for 2019. Read more “UK Area Under Sugar Beet Set to Surge”