We have seen a right mix of rain and sunshine in recent weeks across South Africa, which bodes well for all agricultural subsectors – field crops, horticulture and livestock. From my observations driving across some of South Africa’s regions these past few weeks, the crops look good from a distance. Also, conversations with farmers in various areas have been uplifting.
These past few days, I drove across the eastern regions of South Africa, observing the summer grains and oilseeds from a distance. It is beautiful and uplifting scenery out there in the fields – green and lush. The past few months’ rains have ensured that farmers complete planting on time and further provided conducive growing conditions for crops. The grazing veld has also benefited along with other agricultural subsectors such as the horticulture and wildlife industries.
This favourable weather forecast and rains already received continue to give us optimism that South Africa’s agricultural gross value added will register positive growth in 2021 (although the growth numbers are unlikely to be double digits as in 2020, in part, because of base effects).
South Africa’s agriculture gross value-added expanded by 18.5 % q/q on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis in the third quarter of 2020, much stronger than we anticipated. This follows an expansion of 19.6 % q/q in the second quarter and 35.9% q/q in the first quarter (both figures revised up).
The Crop Estimates Committee lifted its production estimates for wheat, barley and canola 1%, 5%, 8%, respectively from October 2020 to 2.15 million tonnes, 552 766 tonnes, and 148 456 tonnes. These will be the largest harvest on record for barley and canola, while for wheat it will be the largest harvest in 19 years.