News archive

News archive - May-2019

South Africa must get on China’s agricultural radar

One of the key themes that dominated agricultural markets in 2019 was US-China trade tension. This caused trade diversion, as Chinese agricultural traders looked at other markets for goods they would have imported from the US. One of the countries that benefited most was Brazil, which saw its agricultural exports to China grow 35% between 2017 and 2018, to $31bn. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published in Business Day

21.01.2020 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz comments on the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement

This year’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) sees a marked deterioration in the budget deficit which is now at 6.2% of GDP from 4.7% in the February budget speech, which is far worse than expected. The key problem has largely been the lack of economic growth as well as mismanagement of Eskom finances. South Africa’s economy is now projected to grow by sub-1% this year and improve marginally to 1.2% in 2020. The efficient collection of tax remains a challenge but we trust this will change with the appointment of a new SARS Commissioner who is focused on rebuilding the institution. - Agbiz media statement

31.10.2019 / Media Releases

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These are challenging times for the global wool industry

This has not been a good year for the global wool industry. The world’s top two wool-producing countries – Australia and South Africa — are experiencing different, yet growth-constraining, challenges. In South Africa, the challenge is trade-related. Earlier this year, China, which accounts for roughly 71% of South Africa’s wool exports, temporarily stopped buying the country’s wool. This was because of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Limpopo. The impact of this ban was immediately felt across the industry and sheep-farming communities of South Africa. The local authorities responded to the cries and started engaging with their Chinese counterparts in efforts to ensure that wool trade resumes between the two countries. But there hasn’t been a complete success thus far. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist 

13.09.2019 / Agbiz in the news

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Land reform: Status update (August 2019)

Expropriation is merely one element of the broader land reform debate. There are several outstanding issues which predate the expropriation debate and which are vital to the success or failure of land reform in South Africa. 

03.09.2019 / Agbiz in the news

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SA could see biggest wheat harvest in a decade

Preliminary data from South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) suggest that the country could harvest 1.92 million tonnes of wheat in the 2019/20 production season. If this materialises, it would be the biggest harvest in a decade. The catalyst for the optimistic outlook is both the increase in area planted and also prospects for good weather conditions, which in turn would potentially boost the yields. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist

27.08.2019 / Agbiz in the news

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Presidential advisory panel's report on land reform: why context is important

On Sunday, the Presidency released the final report of the Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. The release of this report was highly anticipated and therefore attracted a flurry of media coverage. At this juncture it is worth taking stock of the process and considering the effect which the recommendations may have on land reform policy. Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence

30.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

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What’s needed for SA agriculture to boost jobs?

The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey data (Q2: 2019) show that South Africa’s primary agricultural employment fell by 0.2% from the corresponding period last year to 842 000. The subsectors that faced a notable reduction were mainly field crops, the game industry and forestry. In the case of field crops, the reduction in employment was unsurprising following a reduction in activity in the fields on the back of a poor harvest in the 2018/19 season, all of which is underpinned by unfavourable weather conditions earlier in the season. From a regional perspective, a notable decline in employment was recorded in the Northern Cape, Free State and Limpopo, whilst other provinces saw a marginal uptick. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist.

30.07.2019 / Agbiz in the news

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