News archive

News archive - May-2018

South African tractor sales grew by 19% y/y in June 2018

The South African tractor sales increased by 19% y/y in June, with 569 units sold, which is the highest sales figure for the corresponding month in a dataset starting from 2014. This far exceeds our expectations of modest sales of 471 units, which is a surprise given that June is a fairly quiet month in terms of planting for both summer and winter crop areas. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

09.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA agricultural economy contracted by 24.2% q/q in the first quarter of 2018

The negative effects of the Western Cape drought are evident in the first quarter GDP data, which showed that South Africa’s agricultural economy contracted by 24.2% q/q.1 This far exceeds our expectations of a modest contraction of about 11% q/q. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

09.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA maize and soybean production forecasts revised upwards

South Africa is in for a fairly good harvest in 2017/18 production season, albeit being less than the record achieved in 2016/17 season. This was confirmed by the fifth production forecasts released by the National Crop Estimate Committee earlier. Most summer crop production forecasts were revised upwards from previous month’s levels, with the exception of sunflower seed, sorghum and dry beans which were left unchanged. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

09.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz gearing up for the President’s proposed jobs summit

At his maiden State of the Nation Address in February, President Ramaphosa announced that a jobs summit would be convened in 2018 to elevate the key challenge of unemployment, with a special emphasis on youth unemployment, to the top of the national agenda. The aim of the summit is not limited to creating formal employment opportunities but rather to creating viable economic opportunities, including the creation of new enterprises and self-employment opportunities. The summit seeks to address the constraints to job creation, affirm targets and commitments from different entities and solicit proposals for specific projects. To this end, government has enlisted the help of social partners at Nedlac where Agbiz will play a leading role through Business Unity South Africa (BUSA). – Theo Boshoff, Head: Legal Intelligence

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Scope for growth and employment in agricultural sector

I recently posted a graph on Twitter showing the past 100 years of South African agricultural employment, which has of course been declining for some time, in line with the international trend. The feedback from a couple of interactions suggested that the agricultural sector is a nonstarter when it comes to job creation. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist *Written for and first published in the Business Day on 21 June 2018.

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Dryland wheat farming in Eastern Cape needs support

Almost every Sunday afternoon I make a couple of phone calls to a number of farmers across the country to catch up on regional news and agricultural conditions. This past weekend I followed that routine, with a number of farmers briefing me about summer crop harvest progress.Wandile Sihlolo, Agbiz economist *Written for and first appeared on Business Day on 05 July 2018

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA sugar industry appeals for stronger tariff protection

The members of the South African Sugar Association (SASA), which includes sugarcane farmers and millers, have applied to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) for a 51% increase in the sugar tariff (dollar-based reference price of US$ 856.32/ton) to help the industry against the increasing sugar imports. – Sifiso Ntombela, Head: Trade and Investment Intelligence

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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If Zimbabwe lifts maize ban, South Africa can step in

I keep a close eye on the Zimbabwe agricultural sector because of its potential impact on regional demand. Since the collapse of the sector after the land reform programme in the early 2000s, the country has been one of the key markets for South African maize. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist *Written for and first published in the Business Times on 01 July 2018.

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Clear criteria needed for beneficiary selection in agricultural land redistribution

Some of the successful land reform programmes in the world took place in countries where the beneficiaries were those who occupied the land at the time of the reform. This may be true for the provision of secure tenure to occupiers living under legally insecure tenure arrangements in communal areas, however, the context is quite different for the redistribution and restitution programmes in South Africa. – Wandile Sihlobo and Prof Johann Kirsten[i] *Written for and first published on Business Day on 25 June 2018.  

06.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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