The Xchange Platform Agricultural Market Viewpoint with Wandile Sihlobo

Agricultural Market Viewpoint with Wandile Sihlobo

Agricultural Market Viewpoint with Wandile Sihlobo
Weekly English South Africa Investing · Food Narrated by Sam Mkokeli, Richard Humpries
72 Episodes
1 – 20

Winter crops in South Africa

The data released this past week by the Crop Estimates Committee continue to paint a reasonably positive picture of South Africa's winter crop harvest, albeit with minor downward monthly revisions of the crop size. The primary issue on farmers' minds is perhaps not crop size but the deterioration in quality…
5 Dec 12 min

Food prices in South Africa

Food inflation has been topical over the past few months, and South Africa saw double-digit levels from mid-2022 to mid-2023. This was not unique to South Africa but a global phenomenon underpinned by various factors, including drought in South America, China's strong demand for grains and oilseed, higher energy prices,…
27 Nov 14 min

SA farm jobs up

The solid production conditions in South Africa's agricultural sector continue to be reflected in the employment data. For example, the data released today by Statistics South Africa showed that in the third quarter of 2023, about 956 000 people were employed in primary agriculture, up 10% year-on-year (and 7% quarter-on-quarter)…
21 Nov 12 min

Biosecurity challenges in SA agriculture

One aspect that remains a major challenge for the domestic animal farming sector and has been raised by our members in various engagements for some time is the weaknesses in South Africa's biosecurity system. Admittedly, biosecurity breaches are not uniquely South African and have become a significant challenge globally. We…
13 Nov 12 min

Prospects for solid summer crop harvest in SA in 2023/24 season

Although El Niño is on our doorstep, we have generally held an optimistic view about South Africa's 2023/24 summer grains and oilseed production season. The excellent soil moisture from the past rainy seasons and prospects of rainfall throughout 2023 have convinced us that there may still be decent summer grain…
30 Oct 12 min

South Africa's food security conditions

October 16th marks World Food Day, a celebration of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. This day is also an opportunity for countries to reflect on their food security conditions and efforts to boost agricultural production. Thus, today, we revisit an aspect we discussed…
23 Oct 12 min

Eggs and poultry supply constraints in South Africa

The topical issue in South Africa's agriculture currently is the avian influenza spreading across South Africa. The most dominant strains are the highly pathogenic H5 and H7. The most affected provinces so far are Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State, Limpopo and North West. We understand that over a hundred mostly commercial…
17 Oct 13 min

Western Cape Floods and Agricultural Conditions

The Western Cape, which accounts for over two-thirds of South Africa's winter crops and a large share of wine grapes and various horticulture products, faced another heavy and destructive flood this past week. The rainfall peak was mainly the Bredasdorp in the Southern Overberg region. Significant damages to farm infrastructure,…
9 Oct 15 min

Quick Comment on the Avian Flu in SA

This is a quick comment on the current avian flu in South Africa. The segment is mainly to update the listeners of the podcast on this topical issue
5 Oct 7 min

SA summer crop harvest and prospects for new season

Last week, South Africa's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) released its 2022/23 8th summer crop production forecasts. In these production estimates, there were no new surprises or significant adjustments to the existing forecasts. For example, if we can highlight maize, the 2022/23 commercial harvest is 16,4 million tonnes, roughly unchanged from…
2 Oct 17 min

Summer crop planting prospects in South Africa

We are three weeks into the start of South Africa's 2023/24 summer crop production season. The uncertainty regarding the intensity of the El Niño weather event as well as the, possible higher temperatures and lower-than-normal rainfall that this could bring is still a concern. However, the latest message from the…
26 Sep 14 min

What underpins food prices in South Africa

The South African government voiced concerns about the higher food prices and instructed the cabinet's economic cluster to implement a food security plan to cushion consumers. We have yet to see the government's strategy and approach. But it is worth highlighting that South Africa's consumer food price inflation has started…
18 Sep 14 min

SA agricultural exports remained robust in Q2,2023

South Africa's agricultural exports amounted to US$3.4 billion in the second quarter of this year, up by 0,1% y/y. Despite challenges in key export markets such as the EU in the case of citrus, the products that dominated the export list this quarter were citrus, maize, apples and pears, wine,…
11 Sep 14 min

Saudi Arabia is a strategic market for RSA agriculture exports expansion

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was mentioned as one of the countries that are set to join the BRICS in January 2024. This is a major development, and one that offers another avenue for diversifying the geographic destinations of South Africa’s agricultural exports. There is no doubt that South Africa’s…
4 Sep 13 min

The re-opening of beef export markets is positive for SA

One positive development in South Africa's agriculture this past week was the re-opening of the Chinese beef market and the firm establishment of beef access to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not featured prominently in South Africa's beef export markets in the past, with…
28 Aug 13 min

SA agricultural exports could soften in 2023

South Africa's agricultural export earnings will likely soften this year from the 2022 record. The lower commodity prices, ongoing restrictions to exports of some livestock products because of the foot-and-mouth disease and the stringent regulations of the citrus black spot disease in the EU market are among some of the…
21 Aug 13 min

What keeps SA agribusinesses up at night

We spent most of July on the road, engaging with Agbiz members and sector role-players in various regions of the country. The feedback about the near-term outlook was reasonably positive in all our engagements, with many attributing their optimism to the favourable 2022/23 summer crop and 2023/24 winter crop seasons…
14 Aug 16 min

Some observations as we approach South Africa's 2023/24 summer crop season

As South Africa's 2022/23 summer cop season draws to a close, the focus is shifting towards the 2023/24 production season, which commences in October. As we stated in our previous notes, the preliminary insights suggest that an El Niño could bring below-normal rainfall, but South Africa could still have a…
6 Aug 15 min

There are ample grain supplies in the global market

A lot has happened in the agricultural markets over the past few weeks. First, Russia decided not to renew the Black Sea Grain Deal, which is essential to facilitating exports out of Ukraine and has contributed to a decline in global grain prices. Second, India has banned the exports of…
1 Aug 12 min

Russia and India's agricultural policies add risks to global food prices

This past week was dominated by global agricultural events. First, grain exports, specifically from Ukraine, were disrupted when Russia invaded the country in February 2022. But the rising concerns about global food security resulted in the United Nations and Turkey brokering a deal in July 2022 between Russia and Ukraine…
23 Jul 15 min
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