News archive

News archive - April-2018

SA agricultural trade sustains a good momentum

In February 2018, the cumulative agricultural exports were valued at R20.89 billion leading to a positive net trade of R3.736 billion. Agricultural exports were dominated by the table grapes, stone-fruit, wine, cuttlefish and tilapia - Sifiso Ntombela, trade economist and Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment Intelligence

03.05.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA food price inflation decelerates further to 3.5%

Food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation decelerated to 3.5% in March 2018, from 3.9% in the previous month. This is the lowest levels since December 2013 - thanks to last season’s robust crop output, as well as deceleration in meat price inflation. While there might be a slight uptick in the coming months in anticipation of the VAT and sugar tax effect, we expect the food and non-alcoholic beverages price inflation to remain at fairly low levels this year cushioned by a large grain stock from the current marketing year, as well as the expectation of a fairly good summer grain harvest - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

20.04.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Western Cape’s prospects depend on good winter rain

The west coast of South Africa, which is well known for good wines and being the country’ major winter grains producing region, has been saddled with below-normal winter rainfall for the past three years. The impact of this is clear from the Western Cape’s dwindling agricultural output - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

13.04.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South African tractor sales for March 2018 up 41% y/y

The South African tractor sales were up by 41% y/y in March 2018, with 726 units sold. This follows a 12% y/y contraction in February. On average, 23 tractors were sold a day last month compared to 21 tractors in February 2018 and 16 tractors a day in March 2017 -Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

 

12.04.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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ONLY 30 DAYS LEFT to register for the 2018 Agbiz Congress

We are pleased to announce another international keynote speaker, Dr Neal Gutterson, Chief Technical Officer at Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™. Dr Gutterson will bring us valuable insight on research and development, as well as product development in relation to our congress theme of ‘Uncertainty Creates Opportunity’. 

10.04.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Land dynamics in Africa: What is the potential for agricultural expansion?

Estimates by Fischer and Shah (2010) suggest that the world has 446 million hectares of potentially available uncultivated land. Of this, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 202 million hectares or 45 percent - Dr Tinashe Kapuya and Mr Wandile Sihlobo 

05.04.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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National Minimum Wage implementation date postponed

The National Minimum Wage Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill jointly seek to transition South Africa from sectoral wage determinations towards a single minimum wage applicable on all industries in South Africa. These Bills are currently under discussion at the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Labour. As per the agreement reached between Labour, Government and Business at Nedlac, the National Minimum Wage was due to come into effect on the 1st of May 2018 - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

05.04.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Disease outbreaks show food safety underpins security

Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist, commended SA’s food security status in his personal blog in February. This was after the Economist Intelligence Unit placed South Africa at 44th place out of 133 countries worldwide in the 2017 Global Food Security Index. This essentially makes South Africa the most food secure country in the continent. "Some conflated the blog post with land reform issues, arguing that the proposed expropriation without compensation policy would tamper with the progress made thus far. But, my intention was to shed light on the meaning of food security," he wrote.

29.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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National Dialogue on Land Reform kicked-off this week

Leading scholars and academics, members of civil society, politicians and representatives from the agricultural, agribusiness and banking industries met at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) this week for the first National Dialogue on Land. Academics from the Nelson Mandela University and GIBS took the initiative to arrange an open dialog to ensure that academics and intellectuals do not get side-lined in the process of debating the review of section 25 of the Constitution. Dr John Purchase served as a panellist and made a presentation highlighting the role of agribusiness in the economy, the link with property rights and the manner in which the sector can contribute to land reform within the context of inclusive growth - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

29.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South Africa’s summer crop production estimates lifted by 2% from last month

The National Crop Estimates Committee reaffirmed its view that South Africa is in for a good grain and oilseed harvest this season (albeit being less than the record achieved in 2016/17 season). The Committee revised its production estimates upwards by 2% from last month to 14.8 million tonnes. The notable uptick was on white maize, sunflower seed, sorghum and soybeans production - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Economist

28.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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A glimpse into the crystal ball of the storage and handling of grains and oilseeds

The recent mergers of several large global agrochemical and seed companies, their diversification and highly progressive technological approach bring new, innovative technology to agriculture. To keep up with this, the role of the handlers/storage facilities of grain and oilseeds will gradually be expanded - Mariana Purnell, Agbiz Grain

28.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Trade wars are not good for any country

Trade wars can be costly and devastating on the economies of those countries involved as they often limit the exchange of products and service, subsequently reducing countries’ ability to exports and generate incomes. From the South Africa’s agricultural perspective, international trade expands business opportunities, increases access to alternate inputs and improves productivity in the sector - Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment

28.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA’s agriculture: Immediate, short, to medium-term view

South Africa’s agricultural sector is continuously influenced by global and local demand and supply conditions, weather patterns and exchange rate fluctuations. This season, weather conditions are once again playing a bigger role with the drought in the Western Cape and the delayed onset of rainfall in Free State and North-West provinces which affected production negatively - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

26.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Information sessions on how to apply for exemption to the National Minimum Wage

As has been widely reported in the media, a cross-cutting National Minimum Wage (NMW) is set to be implemented on the 1st of May 2018. For the first time in South Africa, a minimum wage will be applicable to all sectors and will therefore replace the previous system of sectoral determinations. Initially the minimum wage will be set at R20 per hour with a special dispensation of R18 for agriculture.  Despite the concession for agricultural sector, there are legitimate concerns that not all employers will be able to afford the minimum wage - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal intelligence

23.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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A few remarks on the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement

The recently signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) is one of the world's largest free trade blocs and there are a number of reasons to be excited about this developmentDrTinashe Kapuya and Wandile Sihlobo

23.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Broad-based support helps black farmers deliver more

The dark clouds of policy uncertainty and climate change are a form that does not put a smile on farmers’ faces. However, there are some silver linings along the journey of South African agricultural sector that are worth highlighting. While going through my old photos recently, one shot taken four years ago caught my attention... - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Research - Business Day Column - 15 March 2018

15.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South African tractor sales for February 2018 fell by 12% y/y

Subsequent to a solid 10% y/y increase in January 2018, the South African tractor sales fell by 12% y/y last month, with 595 units sold. While February is typically one of the months with the highest tractor sales, just before the end of the financial year, this time around most purchases occurred in January, which explains the softening in last month’s activityWandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Research

14.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA agricultural trade starts 2018 on good footing

In January 2018, the agricultural sector sprint into a positive net trade of R1.3 billion while the overall economy suffered a trade deficit of R27.67 billion. The positive agricultural trade balance can be attributed to the availability of quality summer fruits and beverage products coupled with improved demand in Europe for South African agricultural products. On the imports side, South Africa still source relative large quantities of rice, oilcakes and processed food from Asia and other markets - Sifiso Ntombela, Trade economist and Head Agbiz Trade and Investment Intelligence

12.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index Improves in Q1, 2018

The Agbiz/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index improved by 9 points to 58 in the first quarter of 2018, after declining to levels below 50-points mark in the last quarter of 2017 . The survey was conducted between 21 February and 01 March 2018. Therefore, the overall results are somewhat reflective of broader positive sentiment following recent political developments, tail-end benefits of robust agricultural output in the 2016/17 production, as well as favourable weather conditions for the 2017/18 summer crop growing areas of the country - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

12.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Bearish Outlook for Global Grain Prices

One of the most eagerly awaited communications in the global agricultural market is the International Grains Council's (IGC) monthly report. In the last week of February 2018, IGC reaffirmed its view that the world has large grain and oilseed supplies, particularly maize, soybeans and wheat, albeit having declined marginally from the 2016/17 production season - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

09.03.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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