News archive

News archive - April-2018

Stable global food supply feeds bright inflation outlook

The world is in a far better place in terms of food supply and costs than in the recent past. This is evident in the Food and Agricultural Organisation food price index, which averaged 173.7 index points in June, down 1.3% from May and a percentage point from the same time in 2017. This was underpinned by a decline in global grain, vegetable oil and dairy product prices due to large supplies. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research  *Written for and first published on Business Day on 2 August 2018.  

02.08.2018 / Agbiz in the news


SA's logistics amongst the best in the world

South Africa’s logistics are comparatively more efficient than most industrialising countries, albeit showing a concerning trend in having regressed from 2016’s ranking. This is according to the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index which ranked South Africa at number 33 out of 160 countries surveyed, down from number 20 in 2016, with Germany still leading the world. With growing expectations that South Africa could potentially have large agricultural surpluses for export markets, particularly in maize, the logistics services will play a critical role in ensuring the success of the activity.  –  Wandile Sihlobo, head of Agribusiness Research

31.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news


Cairns Group Farm Leaders disappointed at new US agricultural subsidies

The Cairns Group Farm Leaders are deeply concerned by the United States (US) Administration’s announcement that the US Government will provide US$12 billion to support US farmers impacted by tariffs imposed on US agricultural exports.

27.07.2018 / Media Releases


Agbiz participates in BRICS Business Forum

Against the backdrop of a full-blown trade war between the US and China, and the US also targeting, amongst others the European Union and fellow North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries (Canada and Mexico), thus foe and friend alike, the BRICS Business Forum was held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday, 25July 2018. Dr John Purchase, as board member of Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), attended the forum and shares some perspectives.

27.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news


Why do African countries consume what they don’t produce, and produce what they don’t consume

One of the most prolific messages from the Nelson Mandela centenary lecture presented by Prof Patrick Lumumba was that Tata Madiba would have asked why do African countries consume what they don’t produce, and produce what they don’t consume. He further made a point about coffee, cocoa, tea and other raw commodities that are exported by African countries, and then import expensive, high-value finished products derived from the same inputs they exported. - Dr Mmatlou Kalaba, a trade economist with the University of Pretoria and the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy and Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of agribusiness research. 

26.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news


Expect Western Cape drought to knock farm exports

Agriculture has its fair share of challenges, but I try to find uplifting domestic and regional developments to discuss. This week, agricultural trade was in my cross hairs. For context, I recently reflected on the positive trade performance in calendar 2017, when South Africa's agricultural exports surpassed $10 billion (about R134 billion) for the first time, boosted by growth in exports of edible fruits, beverages, spirits, vegetables, grains and other farm products. The $10.0 billion figure represented a 15% year-on-year increase from $8.7 billion. Africa and Europe were the largest destinations for agricultural exports, collectively absorbing 67% of total exports last year in value terms. Asia was also an important market, taking 24%. The Americas and the rest of the world accounted for 5% and 4%, respectively. In the same period, imports increased by 5% year on year, reaching $6.7 billion, particularly driven by wheat and rice. – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Research *Written for and first appeared on Business Times on 16 July 2018

19.07.2018 / Agbiz in the news


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