• On October 19, the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) released the first crop estimate for the 2018/2019 season. Production volume for this season’s fresh grape crop is predicted to reach 63-70 million cartons with 1.8-13% year-on-year growth.

  • Over the next four years, the economic giant is predicted to overtake France and the United Kingdom to become the world's second-largest market for wine, behind the United States.

  • South Africa has in the past missed some opportunities in pushing its agricultural agenda during broader trade negotiations, says Dr Konanani Liphadzi, Fruit SA CEO (right), but she considers that the recent change in government has brought an increased appreciation of the value of the fruit sector for the South African economy.

  • Since the adoption of a resolution by ANC’s elective conference in December 2017, to change the constitutional provision requiring equitable compensation for land expropriated by the state, the dialogue on the specific constitutional clause as well as on land distribution and ownership in this country appears trapped between the extremes of hyperbole and double talk.

  • The total poultry imports from Brazil are estimated at R3,2 billion for 2017. During the first 10 months of 2018 Brazilian imports already exceeded R2,9 billion.

    The expected imports for 2018 can be estimated at R3,6 billion. From the world, South Africa imported until October an estimated R5,14 billion broiler meat products. The total imports from the world for 2018 are estimated at R6,2 billion. Keep in mind that the average exchange rate for the Rand to the $ were R13.32 in 2017 and R13.16 in 2018. The import value of poultry products increased by 20% year on year. The profitability of local poultry production is challenged by the increased competitive imports from the world. South African exports of poultry declined year on year by 16,3%. The impact of imports on the poultry industry and the consequent substitution of local production impacts also on other industries such as the grain and oilseeds industry. Growth in the domestic market for locally produced feedstock such as maize and soybean are impacted negatively as well.

    Highlights

    South African poultry imports increased by 20% year on year. The value of poultry imports is estimated at R6,2 billion for 2018. The Poultry Association applied for an adjustment in the import tariff to protect the local industry from cheaper imports.

    Livestock

    The combination of the unusual increase in supply by primary producers of cattle to meet cash flow needs and the seasonal increase of supply by feedlots at abattoirs to meet demand during the festive season weigh on local beef prices.

    The tightening supply in Australia and a strong export demand will support mutton prices in 2019

    At current prices US pork producers will be producing pork at break-even levels during Q1 in 2019. Producers will incur losses with further declines in pork prices.

    ABSA AGRI TRENDS- Wessel Lemmer. 

  • South African Citrus authorities say it is now very urgent for the United States to publish its new rule which is due to widen the access of South African citrus to the United States.

  • South Africa’s state-owned power utility may need to reinstate rolling power cuts after factories and businesses reopen following the summer holiday period, said Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Phakamani Hadebe.

  • Given concerns regarding the impact of El Niño and the general lack of rainfall in many key maize production regions, futures prices have spiralled over the past week. This raises concerns about staple maize inflation, as well as the financial position of many producers, especially in the western production regions that have experienced multiple droughts over the past five years.

  • It has gone mostly under the radar, but the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by African tech startups is on the rise, with the sector becoming bigger by the week and attracting more funding.

  • In 2017 South Africa heard for the first time that the ANC had taken a stand to consider amending Section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. Since the landmark announcement at the ruling party’s 54th national policy conference, land reform has dominated public conversation in 2018.

  • Traders in African markets have had a year to forget, and there are signs the rout’s not over yet. The continent’s stocks and bonds have performed worse than those of all other emerging-market regions in 2018, reversing their outperformance of last year.

     

  • 2018 has been called the "year for cannabis" in South Africa. But there are still hurdles before a legal marijuana industry can flourish in an African economic power deemed ideal for large-scale cultivation.

  • Macadamia nuts are hard to beat when it comes to the most lucrative crop per land area used in South Africa.

  • The draft Expropriation Bill gazetted by public works minister Thulas Nxesi last week for public comment was a disappointment and would not accelerate land reform, the Land Access Movement of SA (Lamosa) said.

  • Almost every December holiday I drive from Gauteng to the Eastern Cape, not only to enjoy the majestic views on the way, but to also use the opportunity to do a mini crop tour.

  • As South Africans navigate a festive season offering the relief of a lower fuel price — while taking a toll in disruption due to load-shedding — it all points to the shameful slow progress the country has made in developing a biofuels industry.

  • The African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa is attempting to give white-owned land back to its Black indigenous population, after a legacy of colonization resulted in this theft, thus denying Black South Africans of many economic opportunities.

  • This week we have a series of domestic data releases. Yesterday SAGIS released its monthly figures, today the Crop Estimate Committee will publish its final production forecasts for 2017/18 sunflower seed crop and other summer crops, and producer deliveries data are due tomorrow.

  • A markup of up to 300% on wine is common practice in restaurants, but for the average diner it can feel like a ripoff. We spoke with some restaurant owners to better understand the logic behind high wine prices.

  • Towns and cities in the world's developing countries are growing on an unprecedented scale. Ten years ago, an estimated 40 percent of the developing world's population - or 2 billion people - lived in urban areas.