Agbiz in the news

Solid recovery in South African tractor sales in September 2018

After experiencing a double-digit decline in August 2018 due to delayed harvest, amongst other factors, South African tractor sales recovered by 11% y/y in September 2018, with 612 units sold (Figure 1). This somewhat signals farmers’ readiness for the 2018/19 summer crop production season which commenced this month, although planting activity hasn’t progressed much thus far. Broadly speaking, this is an encouraging reading as we continue to monitor the investment path in the South African agricultural sector following a slowdown in the Agribusiness Confidence Index in the third quarter due to continued uncertainty underpinned by the current land policy reform proposal, amongst other issues. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research

09.10.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Maize production estimate revised down, while wheat was lifted from last month

Today the Crop Estimate Committee released its final production estimates for the 2017/18 summer crop and second production estimated for 2018/19 winter crop. In terms of summer crops, the major oilseeds such as soybeans and sunflower seed were left unchanged from the previous month, whilst the commercial maize production estimate was revised down by 2% from the previous estimate to 12.9 million tonnes, which is somewhat in line with our expectations. From a winter crop perspective, the wheat production estimate was revised up by 2% from last month to 1.8 million tonnes – all thanks to good rainfall in parts of the Western Cape and an expansion in area planted in the Free State. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research

27.09.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA farmers face twin blow of rising input costs and possible drought

These are challenging times for SA farmers, whether viewed from the perspective of rising input costs or the weather outlook. In a few weeks the 2018-2019 summer crop production season will start on a negative note, partly due to rising costs of agricultural inputs such as fertiliser and fuel. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Resarch * Written for and first published on Business Day

27.09.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Comprehensive Development Support Policy prioritises partnerships

On the 3rd of August the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) published the draft National Policy on Comprehensive Producer Development Support for public comments. The policy is designed to bring together producer support from both government and private sector in a coordinated manner. A first look at the policy shows positive signs, but the methodology may need a bit of work. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence

27.09.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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El Niño return threatens summer crop

After showing solid recovery from drought in the previous and current marketing seasons with above-average maize and soybean production, the debate on climate-related challenges could resurface as the opening of the summer crop planting window fast-approaches in the next two to three weeks. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research *Written for and first published in Business Day

13.09.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South African tractor sales fell by 18% y/y in August 2018

Following a solid positive growth over the past five months, South African tractor sales fell by 18% y/y last month, with 487 units sold. This decline, which far exceeds our expectations of a 5% y/y drop, was partially underpinned by delayed summer grain harvesting activity which partially strained farmers’ cash flows. The harvest process, however, did not inspire a notable uptick in combine harvester sales either as the data shows a 25% y/y decline, with nine units sold. This could be explained by the fact that the 2017/18 crop is well below the record levels seen in the previous production season.  

 

12.09.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South African tractor sales grew by 5% y/y in July 2018

The South African tractor sales continued to rise in July, albeit at a slower pace than the previous month, up by 5% y/y with 525 units sold. While lower than our expectations of 578 units, this is the highest tractor sales figure for the corresponding month since 2015. In the same period, the harvester sales declined by 8% y/y, with 12 units sold. This data is unsurprising as this is a relatively quiet period in the agricultural sector as the summer crop harvest process approaches completion, while the new season planting process will only commence in two months’ time.

12.09.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Fresh perspectives at PMA Fresh Connections

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) hosted its 8th annual Fresh Connections: Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show from 15 to 16 August 2018 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. It included an expanded trade show, top conference speakers, industry sessions and the opportunity to network with over 600 decision makers from 14 countries in the local and global fresh produce supply chain.

17.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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BFAP Baseline 2018 released

The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) launched its Baseline 2018 and Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027 on 15 August. The outlook covers agricultural production, consumption, prices and trade in South Africa for the period 2018 to 2027. It was also a celebration of the 15th year that BFAP has guided the policy arena, generating intelligence for the agro-food industry, partnering with private and public sector stakeholders, and to inform on relevant issues. BFAP used this opportunity to launch a brand-new corporate identity that personifies its objective of producing rigorous multi-disciplinary analyses to support strategic and operational decision-making.

16.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Does size matter in South African farming?

Seeing that fellow South Africans are talking about farm sizes today, I thought it would be useful to brush up a short essay I wrote a few months back in this subject.  In May 2018, I participated in a panel discussion hosted by Nation in Conversation at NAMPO in Bothaville. The discussion focused on the importance of the economies of scale and question we had to answer was down to this: does farm size matter in South Africa? - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research *Written for and first published on Business Day

16.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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