Let’s Discuss South African Bread Issues

I know we have a lot to contend with at the moment, but bread and butter issues will take the front burner.

In March 2018, South Africa produced 192 million loaves of bread loaves of bread – largest volume on record in a dataset starting from July 2015 (see featured image).

Our bread basket is comprised mainly of brown, white, and whole wheat bread. But, brown and white bread are the most dominant, with a combined share of 98 percent of all commercial pan baked bread produced in the country.

Brown bread commands 50 percent of South Africa’s bread production. White bread makes up 49 percent and the rest is whole wheat and other types of bread.

The notable uptick in bread production in March 2018 was mainly in brown bread, which increased by 15 percent from the previous month, whilst, white bread production increased by 12 percent over the same period.

The overall number of loaves reaching our plates is expected to increase over the foreseeable future. But, who will be the key suppliers of wheat?

At the moment, South Africa imports about half of its annual wheat consumption. Next time, let’s talk about this!

Note: I’m leaning on data from the good folks at the South African Grain Information Services (SAGIS).

Follow me on Twitter (@WandileSihlobo). E-mail: wandile@agbiz.co.za

Author: Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa. He is a columnist for Business Day and Farmers Weekly magazine. Sihlobo is a member of the South African Agricultural Economics Association. He has previously served as an economist at Grain South Africa. He holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University.

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