SOUTH AFRICA- The International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) has asked the South African Reserve Bank to impose provisional duties on imports of active yeast originating in or imported from Zimbabwe for six months while further investigation into allegations of dumping is underway.

This call comes amidst ongoing investigations into allegations of dumping, which have been under scrutiny since August last year.

The complaint, initially lodged by Rymco – trading as Anchor Yeast – the sole producer of active yeast in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), has sparked a rigorous examination by Itac.

The commission has gathered evidence indicating that the product is being imported into SACU at prices considered to be dumped. Particularly, an estimated 635,250 kg of dumped imports from Zimbabwe were recorded in 2022.

Active yeast, integral to the production of food and beverages for both human and animal consumption, has become the centre of attention due to alleged unfair trade practices.

Itac’s preliminary determination confirms dumping activities from a specific Zimbabwean supplier, leading to material injury to the SACU industry, particularly Anchor Yeast.

This injury manifests in various forms including price undercutting, suppressed prices, declining sales volume, and impacts on market share and profitability.

Anchor Yeast’s assertion that the imported product is identical to its own, thus fully substitutable, highlights the severity of the situation.

The commission fears continued injury to the local industry if swift action is not taken.

During the investigation period, imported yeast from Zimbabwe undercut Anchor Yeast’s prices by a staggering 79%, indicating a dire need for intervention.

As the commission works towards its final determination, all eyes are on Trade, Industry, and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, to whom Itac will make its recommendation.

However, experts believe that the decision to impose provisional duties on Zimbabwean active yeast imports will have significant implications for both the domestic industry and trade relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

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