The 2020/2021 production season has so far been favourable, not just for SA but for most of Southern Africa, including Zimbabwe
South Africa could have its largest summer grain and oilseed harvest on record in 2020/21 production season
The data released this afternoon by the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) show that South Africa’s 2020/21 summer grain and oilseed production could increase by 5% y/y to 18,5 million tonnes. While this is still the first production estimate for this season, with eight more to follow, this could be the largest on record if it materializes.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey data show that South Africa’s primary agricultural jobs were down 8% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, with 810 209 people employed.
The Central Energy Fund’s preliminary estimates suggest that South Africa’s petrol (95 ULP inland) and diesel (0.05% wholesale inland) prices could increase by 57 cents per litre (c/l) and 48 (c/l), respectively, on 03 March 2021. This adjustment means the retail price of petrol could rise to R16,24 per litre from the current level of R15,67 per litre. Simultaneously, the wholesale diesel price could increase to R14,06 per litre from R13,58 per litre in February 2021.
South Africa is a food secure country at national levels. Still, the household level is food insecure, and the numbers increase because of the pandemic’s economic shock. There are risks to the country’s food security, which policymakers, farmers and agribusiness will need to monitor closely.
South Africa’s food price inflation softened to 5,6% y/y in January 2021, from 6,2% y/y in the previous month. The deceleration was in most product prices in the food basket except for bread and cereals, which accelerated from the levels seen in December 2020. Nevertheless, this was overshadowed by the slowing price inflation in meat; fish; milk, eggs and cheese; fruit; and vegetables.
The new African Free Continental Trade Area phases out 90% of tariffs on all goods traded between African Union member states over a 5-to-10-year period. This seeks to boost intra-African trade and investment in regional value chains. The current 41% share of SA agricultural exports that goes to Africa is concentrated in SADC. The opening of other markets presents an opportunity for further expansion in goods such as oranges, apples and wine.