South Africa’s agricultural exports amounted to US$10,2 billion in 2020, which is a 3% increase from the previous year. This is the second-largest level after the record exports of US$10,7 billion in 2018. The top ten exportable products by value were citrus, grapes, wine, apples and pears, maize, nuts, sugar, wool and fruit juices.
The agricultural message within the State of the Nation Address was a mixed bag; an acknowledgement of the farming potential to create jobs and foster growth, yet a hazy view on land policy and support programmes for land reform beneficiaries. There may also be an over-reliance on the master plans; time will tell if it will genuinely deliver on its promise.
The current increases in agricultural commodity prices is a global issue, but an expected sizable South Africa’s maize harvest could help ease price pressures in the coming months.
We discussed South Africa’s agricultural conditions following the recent rains and shared views on food price inflation path for 2021.
South Africa’s soybean production gains, at least in the near term, won’t translate into lower price changes for buyers such as poultry producers. Ultimately, the poultry producers’ input costs will remain elevated despite the increase in domestic soybean production.
South Africa’s agricultural production outlook remains buoyant, thanks to increased plantings and favourable weather conditions. What will be crucial this coming week and the week after that is sunshine, over the country’s summer crop-growing regions. Additional rainfall at this point would most likely cause waterlogging which, in turn, would undermine the yields.
Cyclone Eloise has already caused devastation in Mozambique’s Sofala province and other regions. At the time of writing, the cyclone threatened to cause heavy floods in southern Zimbabwe, the northeastern parts of SA, Eswatini, Malawi and far eastern Botswana.