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Latest Industry News

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An insight into the local pig market

  • Article Date: 2018/06/07 | Category: Other

The listeriosis outbreak is putting a lot of pressure on the pig producers in South Africa. The market prices has reached a four year low and pig farmers are struggling to keep head above water. 

In the week of 25 May, the average producer price of baconers increased in total by 4,5% against the previous week, and less baconers were slaughtered compare to the previous week. It seems that the intensive sales promotion by the pork industry to try and get the excess of pork meat off the market is successful. Further good news from SAPPO is that the trade also reports an increase in the demand for processed products. It is however going to take some time for the industry to gain a full recovery.

The number of listeriosis cases being reported has already dropped sharply, according to data reported by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. The market will start to recover slowly as consumers realize that, but for now the pork market stays under pressure.  

The market outlook for the next week or two :
The average price of baconers is expected move sideways/upward, but It should however be taken in to account that based on the past 20 years, the chance is 70,0% that the average price of porkers and 70,0% for baconers is going to be lower in June each year compared to May, and the chance is also 55,0% for the average price of baconers to be lower and 60,0% for the price of porkers to be lower in July compared to June.

Agricultural Economic review - Local Perspective

  • Article Date: 2018/05/31 | Category: Other

The South African economy is expected to grow at 1.5% during 2018 and 1.8% during 2019. South Africa’s economy has been heading into a positive direction since the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the as the new president that lead to improved business and consumer confidence. However, economists and analysts have warned that these gains could be temporary and due to the so-called “honeymoon phase” that might give way to the economic realities of the tight budget, prevailing high unemployment rates and political uncertainty around important issues such as land reform.  Unemployment figures reached the highest rates since 2003 during the third quarter of 2017 (27.7%).

Final household consumer expenditure grew by 2.2% from 2016 to 2017; this increase in household expenditure, combined with a 6.4% increase in money supply could have a positive impact on the demand for agricultural products (see Figure 1). Household consumption is expected to grow 1.9% towards 2019 and 2.3% towards 2020.

Agricultural Economic review - International Perspective

  • Article Date: 2018/05/31 | Category: Other

International perspectives

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is increasing across all major economies. The world economy will continue to provide a supportive platform for South Africa to expand trade and investment. The International Monetary Fund forecast global growth at 3.9% for 2018. The growth forecast for Japan has been adjusted upwards for 2018 and 2019 and China is expected to grow at 6.4% during 2019 while India’s economy is expected to reach 7.8% during 2019.

Growing population globally combined with greater prosperity in emerging markets indicates increases in the demand for food in the long term. The world population is expected to increase from 7.3 billion to 8.2 billion nearing 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa and India will account for 56% of total population growth over the next decade with India overtaking China as the most populous country in the world. Given aforementioned, India and Sub-Saharan Africa will drive a large share of global demand (OECD-FAO, 2018).

According to the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook report, global demand for agricultural products will slow compared to the previous decade, previously increasing demand was mostly driven by income growth in China. Higher demand for meat and intensification of livestock production boosted demand for animal feed. However, demand growth in China is slowing down as income growth moderates and consequently households are spending less of their additional income on food.


Agricultural trade is expected to continue to increase, but at a slower pace than the past; following the same trends as supply and demand. However, removing current trade related and distortionary domestic production policies could stimulate trade in the long-run. Agricultural exports will remain concentrated amongst the traditional exporters. Factors that will play an important role in international trade in the near future includes consumer awareness with regard to environmental concerns, sustainable production, food safety, environmental traceability and animal welfare.

Most commodity prices are expected to move sideways in real terms while meat prices are expected to decline in real terms due to the production expansion through larger herds and heavier slaughter weights in major producing countries.

Postive Outlook for Wool Market

  • Article Date: 2018/05/14 | Category: Other

Australian Market Overview (AWI)
"The bottom line is that the world’s consumers, those who ultimately set the price for wool at the cash register, are willing to pay a premium for Merino wool as a renewable but rare natural fibre and unless consumers know about wool and its superior natural benefits, they will not demand it let alone pay a significant premium for it over these man-made and cellulosic fibres. Given what we know domestically about constrained wool production and what we have learnt in Uruguay about global Merino wool production, supply cannot lift significantly. If demand can stay relatively stable into the short term then so can prices."

South African Market
The monthly average price increased by 4% compared to the previous month and is 12% higher compared to a year ago. As mentioned, there is currently a healthy demand for wool internationally which resulted in the price to be significantly higher than a year ago even with a stronger Rand. The slight weakening of the Rand supported prices the last month. Some optimism for improved price over the next month exist due to high demand and a possible further weakening of the Rand. Growing demand and constraint supplies may hold vast opportunities for the natural fibre industry over the long run.

The exchange rate must be watched closely as this may impact prices.

Economic Growth Prospects

  • Article Date: 2018/05/08 | Category: Other

Global economic growth is expected to continue to build on the momentum gained over the past two years. In 2017, the global economy expanded with no less than 3.8%, the highest growth rate since the economic recession in 2008/09, in 2017, advanced economies started to make a more meaningful contribution towards global growth. Expectations are that the advanced economies will continue to make a meaningful contribution in the foreseeable future and as a result, global growth is expected to remain on the upward trend.

The US economic growth is expected to remain robust at around 2.8% on the back of the Trump economic policies. Uncertainty in terms of US trade policy and the potential of it leading to a trade war, remains amongst the main downside risks to the US growth prospects. 

The EU reported the highest growth since the economic recession of 2008/09. The expansion in the EU economy was primarily supported by the improvement in business and consumer confidence on the back of improved global economic activity, relatively low interest rates and subdued inflation.  

The economy of Japan is expecting an increase in the level of investment, lower unemployment and successively improved consumer confidence and spending as well as the rebound in global trade, are all amongst the factors that will contribute towards the expected 1.5% growth for Japan.

Meaningful economic growth is also expected for Sub-Saharan Africa, with growth that are likely to reach 3.1% in 2018. Rising commodity prices and positive global trade prospects are the main factors that will drive the anticipated recovery. Although Nigeria, Angola and South Africa accounts for 60% of the Sub-Saharan GDP, it is mainly Nigeria and Angola that will contribute towards the expected recovery.

Overall, global growth is expected to be the highest in the last decade, strengthening to 3.9% in 2018. The biggest downside risk to the outlook is most arguably the uncertainty around US trade policy and the potential impact hereof of global trade.  

Political infused uncertainty, despite the election of a new ANC President and successively the recall of the former South African President, and policy uncertainty continue to dominate the local economic prospects. The election of a new ANC President at the end of 2017 and the recall of the former South African President at the start of 2018, contributed towards much- needed positive economic sentiment. Besides, state capture, poor management of government departments and state-owned enterprise (SOE’s), maladministration of state coffers, corruption, etc. resulted in significant challenges that will continue to hamper growth in the foreseeable future.

Despite all the challenges, growth prospects are unquestionably better compared to the past couple of years. In fact, the economic growth rate reported in 2017 surpassed all expectation. The higher than expected growth can, to a large extent, be attributed to the agricultural sector. Inflation has continued to slow since the middle of 2017. This is mainly a result of the sustained low food price inflation. The change in the value added tax rate, increase in the fuel and road accident fund levies and the slight weakening of the Rand could contribute towards a moderate uptick in the inflation rate over the next few months

Sustained low levels of inflation, the relative resilience of the Rand and the need for economic stimulus all contributed towards the decision to cut the interest rate with 25-basis points. Further rate cuts remain a possibility, especially considering that inflation is expected to remain within the target band of the Reserve Bank and that investment and economic stimulus are amongst the main priorities of government. However, the recent hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve and the potential impact hereof on the Rand will most probably limit the scope for any notable rate cuts in the months to come

the resilience of the Rand against some of the major currencies can be attributed to the improve political prospects, investors’ appetite for investments in emerging markets, the rise in commodity prices and the narrowing of the current account deficit. The Rand is however exposed to both local and international developments and as a result, volatility will remain. This is evident from the recent losses on the back of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The increase in export earnings on the back of improved foreign demand for domestically produced goods coupled with higher prices of commodities made a notable contribution towards the narrowing of the current account deficit. The drive by government and specifically the presidency to increase the flow of foreign direct investment into South Africa will also make a positive contribution. In general, the current account deficit is expected to narrow to just over 2% by the end of 2018.  


Lamb Market

  • Article Date: 2018/04/24 | Category: Other

Lamb market for the week of 20 April. A2/A3 lamb declined in total by 2,8% to an average of 6 840c/kg compared to the previous week, notwithstanding a decline in the number of lambs slaughtered.. At this stage, there no indication that the price of Class A2/A3 is indirectly being affected by the listeriosis disease. It should rather be seen as an increase in the over flow of stocks from the previous weeks, due to pressure from the demand side. Over the next two weeks, the average price is expected to move sideways/upward, based on an expected increase in demand due to the coming long weekend. For more information on livestock, please see the Weekly Livestock Report

Beef Market

  • Article Date: 2018/04/20 | Category: Other

Beef market during the week of 13 April 2018. The average price of weaners (190 – 250kg) declined in total by 1,5% compared to the previous week. The decline is expected to be the result on an increase in the supply of weaners, which can be contributed to the weaner marketing season that is on hand. In some parts of the country, auction price for light weaners (below 190kg weight) are still in the range of R37 to R40/kg. For the next two weeks, it is predicted that the average weaner price may be moving more sideways with the possibility of a mild decline toward the end of April. For more information, please see our Weekly Livestock Reports


Rand Insights

  • Article Date: 2018/04/19 | Category: Other

Some interesting thoughts by PDSNet

The rand, of course, reflects the perception of overseas investors about the state of our nation. Is South Africa Inc. likely to be profitable in the future? Or is it to become another African economic disaster like Zimbabwe? As their opinions fluctuate, so does the strength of the rand.

Based on Ramaphosa’s continued political dominance, it is predicted that the rand will not weaken – but it also may not strengthen too much from current levels. Ramaphosa will be keenly aware of the negative impact that a strong rand is having on the mining industry and will take steps to keep that strength under control – which is easy to do by just selling rands and buying US dollars (which builds up our national reserves of hard currency).

Mielieprys onder druk...

  • Article Date: 2018/01/17 | Category: Other

Wes Transvaal se plant-venster is nou toe, terwyl slegs 70% mielies geplant is in die streek. Die hoëveld se toestande lyk normaal, en is daar positiewe verwagtinge. Ons staar daarom 'n situasie van oorskot in die oog, selfs al stroop die boere nie 'n pit mielies in die nuwe seisoen. Hierdie faktore veroorsaak dat daar nie 'n mark vir mielies is nie, wat die prys onder druk hou.

Van die silo-eienaars sê dat daar nog meeste van verlede jaar se onopgeeisde mielies is. Dit wil dus begin lyk asof ons met minstens 2 miljoen ton oorskot gaan sit, selfs al stroop Suid Afrika 'n normale oes hierdie jaar. Dit kan omreken word dat daar ongeveer 2 jaar se verbruik bevredig kan word met huidige beskikbaarheid. Al hierdie  beteken dat ons met 'n prys van rondom R1500/1700 kan sit.

Mielieprys en Rand

  • Article Date: 2018/01/17 | Category: Other

Die internasionale omgewing is besig om meer vertroue in Suid Afrika terug te kry. Hierdie is goeie nuus vir die wisselkoers, wat duidelik is in die huidige rand-versterking. Gister (16.01.2018) het die rand binne 'n uur en 'n half versterk vanaf R12.35 tot R12.22 aan die vooraand van die rentekoers besluitneming van Donderdag. Die sterk versterking in die ZAR het 'n dramatiese verlaging in SAFEX mielie-pryse veroorsaak. Dit word verwag dat rentekoerse onveranderd gelaat gaan word, en dus verdere versterkings-potensiaal in die rand kan beteken.

Dit kan dus weer n negatiewe uitwerking op die mielieprys meebring.

Mutton prices reach historic levels.......

  • Article Date: 2017/12/13 | Category: Other

The average producer price of Class A2/A3 lamb increased by 4,4 % during the week of 1 December compared to the previous week, and by doing so reached an historic level of 8 182c/kg. Looking at long term trends, the week of 22 December may be the turning point in the price level for this year, and based on historic prices over the past 20 years the chance is 75% for the price of lamb to be lower in December compared to November.

The Class C2/C3 producer price also increased by 1,7% compared to the previous month, due to a decline in supply and an increase in demand. As in the case with the A2/A3’s, the average price of the C2/C3’s is also expected to reach a turning point during the week of 22 December, due to the closing down of most abattoirs during the last two weeks of December.

The average price of feeder lamb was unchanged compared to the previous week, and was 1,2% lower compared to a month ago and 44,5% higher year-on-year.

Imagine the potential of Jan Venter

  • Article Date: 2017/12/11 | Category: Other

South Africa’s economy grew by 2% in the third quarter of 2017, with the agricultural sector giving the economy the biggest boost. Congratulations to everybody out there! This growth is more than anyone expected.  Unfortunately to be sustainable South Africa needs economic growth of at least 2.5% per annum. And some say the growth is on the back of “this” and that “something else” will impact in the future. What I want to focus on however is that the sector that arguable takes the most political heat with arguable only hard work and a can do attitude, amidst the worst drought in a long time, carried the economy in 2017. I hope… actually this is my Christmas wish, that Government sees what can be done if agriculture is supported and not plundered and that cooperation and mutual respect builds the sector into what it can and should be. My next article will deal with the ANC elective conference. Read full article in the latest Farmers Weekly...

Food price inflation

  • Article Date: 2017/11/28 | Category: Other

Food inflation slowed to 5.3% y/y in October 2017, from 5.4% y/y in the previous month. This is the lowest level in 23-months, thanks to lower agricultural commodity prices. Most food product price inflation remain at relatively lower levels, with the exception of meat which is still at double digits, at 15.5% y/y last month. While fears of avian influenza have not completely dissipated, the impact has largely been on egg layers.

Broilers were roughly 8% of the birds culled thus far. The cattle restocking process is also proving to be slower than we initially anticipated. The uptick observed in August slaughtering activity seems to be somewhat a temporary blip, as September figures showed a decline. (Courtesy of Agbiz)

Onion prices increase...

  • Article Date: 2017/11/28 | Category: Other

The average price increased by 7% from R3.43 to R3.67 per kg the past week. Seasonal trends indicate that the market is currently going into a "high volume, low price and lower demand" scenario.

Even though lower volumes were recorded last week compared to the previous week, the price still declined which indicated lower demand. However, higher volumes coupled with lower expected demand in the coming week may drive prices down further in the coming week.

Garlic prices reach record low

  • Article Date: 2017/11/28 | Category: Other

The average price decreased by 30% from R16.72 to R11.70 per kg the
past week. Seasonal trends indicate that the market is currently going into
a "lower price, higher volume, lower demand" scenario.

Volumes on the markets increased to its highest level of 2017 which resulted in the price to drop to its lowest level of 2017 so far.

Continued high volumes in the coming week may result in the price to stay low.

Potato price expected to increase past R40/10kg...

  • Article Date: 2017/11/28 | Category: Other

The average price increased by 12% from R34.80 to R38.94 per 10kg bag. Seasonal trends indicate that the market is currently going into a "higher price, higher supply and higher demand" scenario.

Even though the total volumes traded increased on the markets, the pricealso increased indicating a higher demand in the previous week. This trend is expected to continue with higher expected demand in the coming week resulting in a possible higher price and volume on the markets.

Pecan Outlook

  • Article Date: 2017/11/24 | Category: Other

In terms of pecans, the major export markets are Hong Kong (41%), Vietnam (11%) and Japan with approximately 7%. As can be seen in Figure 5, the export of pecans is also extremely seasonal peaking around August each year mostly to the above mentioned countries. Total exports of pecans reached a monthly total of approximately 3.94 million kilograms in August of this year while only realising 53 979 kilograms in March 2017. Based on these trends, export volumes are expected to decrease over the coming months.

As in the case of Macadamias, the seasonality of exports play a fundamental role in determining the local price for pecans. High export prices are usually achieved in August and September of each year. As can be seen in Figure 6, seasonal trends indicate that pecans may be moving into a lower price and lower volume scenario where the price is expected to dip to R55.07/kg in March 2018.

Macadamias Outlook

  • Article Date: 2017/11/23 | Category: Other

As nuts are mainly exported, the price is formed through the main export partners. In terms of unprocessed macadamias, the major export markets are Hong Kong (66%), Vietnam (26%), China (5%) and then USA and Netherlands each with approximately 1%. As can be seen in Figure 1, the export of unprocessed macadamias is extremely seasonal starting in around April and ending in around October each year mostly to the above mentioned countries. Total exports of unprocessed macadamias reached a monthly total of approximately 4.6 million kilograms in July and August of this year while only realising 380kg in January 2017.

Unprocessed macadamias accounted for approximately 68% of total macadamia exports while processed (shelled) macadamias accounted for approximately 32% of total exports during 2016.

Processed macadamias are exported to a larger number of countries compared to unprocessed macadamias with 11 nations historically receiving approximately 90% of the total processed macadamias.

The major export markets are the United Stated (40%), Hong Kong (12%) and Netherlands (11%). As can be seen in Figure 3, the export of processed macadamias is also extremely seasonal peaking in the middle parts (May to November) of each year. Total exports of processed macadamias reached a monthly total of approximately 1.28 million kilograms in May of this year while only realising 26 000 kilograms in March 2017.

Demand for South African macadamias remains strong with record prices

  • Article Date: 2017/11/20 | Category: Other

South Africa must seek new markets and improve macadamia quality to compete globally. South Africa’s macadamia industry is expected to double production over the next few years. But processors will have to find new markets and add value to nuts to maintain exports. The macadamia industry is small compared with other nut crops. The world’s almond crop, for example, is more than one million tons per year, while the world’s macadamia crop for 2017 was 170 000t in-shell (just 50 000t of kernels only).

Demand for South African macadamias remains strong with record prices. Demand for macadamias remains strong with record prices being supported by the market. Macadamias play firmly in the premium segment which is encouraging for the future. There is a growing perception that South African macadamias are as good as Australian. Improved factories and processing capability together with increasing demand has exposed the market to South African product which has elevated its status. Only 20% of macadamias are used as an ingredient when compared to almonds for example where 80% is used as an ingredient.

South African pecan volumes set for steep rise

  • Article Date: 2017/11/20 | Category: Other

South African pecan volumes set for steep rise: As pecan orchards are coming into bloom, growers and exporters in South Africa, the third largest global producer of pecan nuts, look back on a season characterised by a weaker exchange rate and overall smaller nut sizes than the exceptional season of 2015/16 when nuts were an estimated 20% larger in general. Final figures for the 2016/17 season’s volumes are not yet available, but it is expected to exceed the 10,900t of last year.

For the past few years around 80% (up to 90%, depending on various exporters) of the South African harvest has been marketed in the Far East, mostly China, as nuts-in-shell, while the balance is either exported as kernels or sold locally.

On South African shelves, pecan nuts are of the most expensive nuts, despite growing local production. As with macadamias, there is increasing interest in pecan nuts, a tree crop that is less capital-intensive than others, but establishment of a pecan orchard depends strongly on a grower’s access to good quality water. The heartland of South Africa’s pecan production originally developed around the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme in the Northern Cape.

What’s driving US BEEF/CATTLE prices?

  • Article Date: 2017/11/17 | Category: Other

What’s driving US BEEF/CATTLE prices?

The market sentiment is very much that strong demand has been the overwhelming factor in driving US cattle prices and beef prices higher.

Domestic demand has been underpinned by sustained retail features/promotions throughout the year, but also a shift in focus from foodservice operators to chilled beef across menu items – supporting local US product.  A further indication of a strong domestic market has been the decline in average carcase weights – steer weights are now 1.7% lower than the same time last year. Cattle are being turned off earlier in order satisfy demand.

Export demand has also contributed towards offsetting any surplus in supplies generated as a result of increased US production. For the calendar year-to-August, US beef exports were 15% higher than the same period last year. A reduction in US beef imports from both Australia and New Zealand has seen a 3.5% year-on-year decline in total imports for the calendar year-to-date. 

The latest USDA cold storage report indicates that, as at 30 September 2017, frozen beef inventories were back 6% year-on-year, at approximately 221,200 tonnes. This indicates product is being absorbed into market and diverted away from cold storage.

Zuma to remove Cyril

  • Article Date: 2017/11/15 | Category: Other

Yesterday the Rand hit R14.55/$, its worst level in about a year. Numerous issues are having an influence on the currency including the looming downgrade, the persistent political uncertainty and more recently, the fact that President Jacob Zuma could announce a free tertiary education plan.

Adding to the already significant political pressures, was the continued rumours that President Zuma could act to remove Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and might postpone the ANC’s elective conference in December due to branch irregularities. The Treasury’s long-time budget head, Michael Sachs, also resigned yesterday which the markets didn’t take kindly to.

Source: Sharenet

Record Maize Crop for USA, what does this mean??

  • Article Date: 2017/11/15 | Category: Other

The USA is currently looking towards a record maize crop for the 2016/17 season. This would cause markets to come under pressure as the leading country in the world will surely have to find a price level where new interest can be awaken in order to get surplus maize stocks sold and draw overly sufficient supplies down some.

The main influence that the large US crop will have on South Africa's domestic situation would be added lower prices, especially as far as yellow maize is concerned. This could cause potential maize plantings for the new 2017/18 season to be either lessened, or shifted over to other more profitable commodities, like soybeans.

Of course, much of the crop conditions in the US has already been discounted in prices. Therefore, a weather scare in South America - which influences competition in marketing - will be of the few areas that could still provide support in the coming months.

Aanplantings tot dusver....

  • Article Date: 2017/11/14 | Category: Other

Volgens 'n opname van Dalevest loop die Mpumalanga provinise tans voor met hul mielie aanplantings. Hierdie provinsie het reeds 66,97% van die beplande area gesaai. Volgende is Gauteng wat 37,60% klaar is, Oos Kaap 28,95%, Vrystaat 10,35% en Noord Wes 4,71% is voltooi.

3 scenarios for the maize season ahead…….

  • Article Date: 2017/11/13 | Category: Other

3 scenarios for the maize season ahead…….

Three scenarios, i.e. low yield scenario, average yield scenario and record high yield scenario are still possible outcomes for the 2017/18 maize season. But what is the implications should each realise?

Should the first scenario (low yields) occur in the coming season, a possible exportable surplus of around 1.45 million ton might exist for the 2018/19 season. Resulting in the season’s production coupled with carry-over stocks from the current season, to be sufficient to meet local demand, but would not lead to large exportable surpluses. This might cause the market for a while to trade at export parity level, but likely with some quick show of recovery.

If Scenario 2 (average yields) occurs in the coming season, the exportable surplus for the 2018/19 season may reach levels of around 3.85 million tons. With these large surpluses the market is likely to remain at export parity levels for a longer period, and failing exports taking place at the preferred pace, large carry-over stocks may yet again be realised at the end of the marketing season.

If records yields are achieved in the next season, total production may reach levels of above 15 million tons, leaving the country with an exportable a surplus of almost 8 million tons for the season. This may result in even lower prices than was experienced within the past production season.

Wheat productivity set to be boosted

  • Article Date: 2017/11/08 | Category: Other

Wheat productivity boost for SA farmers....

The aim of the Wheat Breeding Platform (WBP) will be to assist South African farmers to increase their wheat yields and profitability.

Since the late 1990s, wheat production has declined sharply, from over a million hectares, to less than 500 000 ha during the last planting season.

The WBP would draw on expertise from both the public and private sectors to stem this decline in production and achieve a sustainable increase in wheat productivity.

The national WBP, which was established in 2014, has now been formalised, expanded and funded to include Stellenbosch University’s Plant Breeding Laboratory’s (SU-PBL) wheat pre-breeding programme.

The Agricultural Research Council’s Small Grains (ARC-SG) pre-breeding group had also been included this year.

Funding comes from the Department of Science and Technology and the Winter Cereal Trust, and is facilitated by Grain SA’s Grain Research and Policy Centre.

Source: Farmer's Weekly

Potato prices decrease...

  • Article Date: 2017/11/07 | Category: Other

The average price decreased by 4% from R39.42 to R37.66 per 10kg bag.
Seasonal trends indicate that the market is currently going into a "higher
price, higher supply and lower demand" scenario.

Higher than expected volumes on the markets last week forced the price
downward. Continued high expected volumes coupled with lower demand
may result in the price to decrease slightly in the coming week.

The expected price range for next week is between R35.00 and R37.00 per
10kg bag.

Not only WHITES are affected by farm murders

  • Article Date: 2017/11/06 | Category: Other

Politcal perspective by Jan Venter....

United Nations Secretary-General Ban António Guterres has urged South African President Jacob Zuma to deal with the farm murders that are continuously spreading across the country.

This implies that the UN thinks that the Zuma government can do something about farm murders. To coin a phrase, “it is illogical, disingenuous” and contra-intuitive to think that farm murders are motivated purely by robbery or opportunity when hours are spent torturing victims with hot irons, hot water and oil, barbed wire, electric shocks and power tools.

This implies malice and forethought aimed at a certain group of people.  

I wish to stress not only white people are affected by this heinous acts. The whole farming sector is weakened and destabilised with social and economic implications for everybody on the affected farm and also for the larger community....please read more in the newest issue of Farmers Weekly.

BESIT van Landbougrond in Suid-Afrika

  • Article Date: 2017/10/31 | Category: Other

EERSTE GRONDOUDIT IN SUID-AFRIKA (Artikel in Raport 29 Oktober 2017)

Die syfers word vervat in ‘n omvattende grondoudit wat deur die ekonoom Johann Bornman gedoen is vir Landbouweekblad. Daar is in hierdie verslag bevind dat swart mense besit in twee van Suid-Afrika se vrugbaarste provinsies – die Oos-Kaap en KwaZulu-Natal – reeds meer as 50% van alle landbougrond. Nie-blanke eienaarskap van landbougrond is landswyd reeds op ? beraamde 26,7% wat ongeveer 46% van Suid-Afrika se landboupotensiaal opmaak.

Die grond wat sedert 1994 na swart besit oorgedra is in doodgewone kommersiële aankope deur swart entrepreneurs en boere was dubbel soveel as die grond wat vir swart eienaars aangekoop is deur die staat as deel van sy grondhervormingsprogram.

Volgens Agri SA lyk die prentjie van grondeienaarskap, en spesifiek eienaarskap van hoëpotensiaal landbougrond heeltemal anders as wat die persepsie is.

Sleutelbevindings uit die verslag sluit in:

  • In KwaZulu_Natal en Limpopo, wat tel onder die vrugbaarste dele van die land, word meer as die helfte van landbougrond reeds deur swart mense besit.
  • In drie van die vrugbaarste provinsies – die Oos-Kaap, KwaZulu-Natal en Limpopo – is meer as 50% van die landboupotensiaal reeds in swart besit.
  • In KwaZulu-Natal word 45,4% van die landbougrond reeds deur swart eienaars besit. Hierdie grond verteenwoordig 73,5% van die landboupotensiaal oftewel dravermoë in die provinsie.
  • Wit boere se eienaarskap van landbougrond het gedaal van 85,1% in 1994 (82,5 miljoen ha) tot 73,3% in Desember 2016.
  • Altesame 5 miljoen hektaar landbougrond is in die tydperk deur swart mense gekoop, asook 1,7 miljoen hektaar vir gebruike anders as landbou. In dieselfde tydperk het die regering 2,1 miljoen hektaar landbougrond vir herverdeling gekoop. Provinsiale regerings en munisipaliteite het ook sowat 600 000 hektaar grond gekoop en herversprei.

Mini Budget and Agriculture

  • Article Date: 2017/10/31 | Category: Other

Agriculture received relatively little attention in Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s mini budget. There was no mention of agriculture’s contribution to economic growth, nor the plight of farmers affected by ongoing droughts. Gigaba’s call for decisive leadership was, however, welcomed and the need for government to improve its productivity and decisiveness. There is concern that the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill is cited as one of the measures Gigaba mentioned to boost confidence and growth. The proposals from the bill include restrictions on foreign ownership of farmland, as well as the imposition of land ceilings on farm ownership. Land ceilings are a re-distributive measure intended to limit the size of landholdings to make more land available to subsistence, smallholder or emerging farmers.

While such an approach may be well intended, it will not deliver the desired results and it will create far reaching negative consequences. These consequences will hurt those the policy is intended to help. Imposing land ceilings will curb investment, productivity and the future growth of the sector that is responsible for national food security. It is recommended that a focus is kept on policies that would boost investor and consumer confidence, and promote economic growth.

Fuel Price Alert...what does it mean for Agriculture

  • Article Date: 2017/10/30 | Category: Other

Since the 5th of July 2017 till the most recent fuel announcement (1st November 2017), the Diesel price (0.05%, Reef) increased by R1.38/L.

Considering our current exchange rate trajectory (likely to come under more pressure) and the current trend of the Brent Crude Oil price (recently broke through the $60/barrel mark), this increasing fuel price trend is likely to continue in the next two months or so. But what does this mean for the Summer Crop production costs that is currently in the process (or close to) of being planted?

Machinery and fuel costs make up between 20% and 30% (depending on your input structures) of the variable inputs, making the increase in fuel costs an important cost to monitor and manage on the farm.

It is estimated that a R1 increase in the fuel price may result in the return on investment (ROI) to decrease by roughly 1% (only taking variable cost into consideration).

The recent fuel price hikes could therefore possibly result in a lower ROI of between 1.45% and 1.65% depending on the input structures. To put this into context, if you plant 1000ha, it can increase your total input costs by an estimated R74 870 or R74.87 per hectare.

With the profit margins already at an extreme low due to the low maize price and the already high input costs, can maize farmers really afford this additional cost?

Nuutste oesskatting / Latest Harvest Estimate

  • Article Date: 2017/10/27 | Category: Other

Nuutste Oesskatting

Die nuutste oesskatting dui dat Suid Afrikaanse mielie-aanplantings na verwagting gaan afneem vir die nuwe 2017/18 seisoen met 6,0% of 158 200 hektaar. Oppervlaktes gaan egter weggeneem word van Witmielies en by Geelmielies gevoeg word. Geel se aanplantings sal waarskynlik toeneem met 8,2% of 80 800 ha, terwyl witmielie-aanplantings na verwagting sal afneem met 14,5% of 239 000 hektaar.

Die verskil in persentasie-punte (6.3%) sal waarskynlik na sojabone toe gaan, wat in die nuwe seisoen met 'n potensiële 25,4% kan toeneem. Sonneblomsaad se aanplantings vir 2018 word geraam op 665 500 hektaar, 4,7% meer as in die vorige seisoen.

Produsente moet dus let op die potensiële verskuiwings in aanplantings asook die nagevolge op pryse in die komende seisoen. Verhoogde sojaboonproduksie kan 'n afwaartse druk op prys tot gevolg hê, terwyl die prys van witmielies in die komende seisoen nader aan dié van geelmielies kan beweeg.


Latest Harvest Estimate

The latest crop estimate indicates that South African maize production are expected to decline for the new 2017/18 season by 6.0% or 158 200 hectares. The number of hectares dedicated will, however, be removed from white maize and added to yellow maize. Yellow maize production is therefore likely to increase by 8.2% or 80 800 ha, while white maize production can decrease by 14.5% or 239 000 hectares.

The difference in percentage points (6.3%) is likely to go to soybeans, which is estimated to increase by 25.4% in total in the new season. Sunflower seed plantations for 2018 are estimated at 665 500 hectares, 4.7% more than in the previous season.

Producers should therefore note the potential shifts in production as well as the consequences for prices in the coming season. Increased soybean production may result in a downward pressure on price while the price of white maize may move closer to that of yellow maize in the coming season.

Mini budget: South Africa should brace themself for difficult times ahead

  • Article Date: 2017/10/25 | Category: Other



Many South Africans has undoubtedly hoped for a mid-term budget speech that would have reduce rather than increase uncertainty. However, the latter is exactly what South Africa received i.e. a mid-term budget speech that will contribute towards lower business and investor confidence and most probably, yet another credit downgrade by the end of 2017. 

It is clear that government isn’t going to tighten the belt on spending despite the prospect of a R50.8 billion shortfall in the budget. Selling shares in Telkom (one of if not the only SOC that is financially viable) to continue to bail Eskom and SAA, surely isn’t the answer to the fiscal challenges. Similarly, the 14 confidence boost measures announced in May 2017 and the micro economic reforms haven’t and will not be the silver bullet for economic growth.

The expected economic growth rate of 1.9% by 2020/2021 is not going to make any meaningful contribution towards the fiscal situation.Governments debt as a percentage of GDP is expected to reach a historical high, exceeding 60% within the next three years. 

Clearly, the books aren’t going to balance, not if government continue along the same path. Hopefully the elective conference in December will yield leadership that are willing and able to be more responsible from a fiscal perspective.

In the meanwhile, South Africans should brace themselves for the challenging times ahead.

Wheat Market

  • Article Date: 2017/10/25 | Category: Other

Wheat Market Status

A recent poll of analysts from Bloomberg suggested that South Africa’s 2017/2018 third wheat production estimate could remain unchanged from the previous estimate, at 1.7 million tons. Likely somewhat optimistic, given that a large part of the crop is not in good shape in the Western Cape due to persistent dry conditions.

Areas planted late in the season, particularly the southern Cape and Mossel Bay, could still benefit from rainfall as the crop is at grain filling stages of development. Unfortunately, the weather forecast presents a possibility of continued dry conditions across the Western Cape during the next two weeks, which could result in lower yields. Imports are 56% higher than last week, bringing total 2017/2018 imports to 248 148 tons.

Last week's mentioned target to be broken – R4050 - was indeed violated to the upside, taking prices higher. Therefore, keep the mentioned targets at R4220 and R4310 in mind. Current support is around R4130. Just be aware of movement nearing overbought conditions, which might slow things down again.

The TRUE reasons behind ZUMAs most recent cabinet reshuffle...

  • Article Date: 2017/10/23 | Category: Other

Jacob Zuma has done it again, he has shuffled his cabinet and our country. Key changes include the axing of Blade Nzimande.

It seems Zuma was finally fed up with the criticism of Dr. Nzimande and by extension the SACP. It seems that he relationship between the ANC and the SACP is at an all-time low. This is partly true. The relationship between the SACP and the Zuma group has suffered irrevocable damage and everything depends on this December’s ANC congress and the manner of victory or defeat of the various factions in the party.

The second important move is that of the powerful intelligence minister to the energy portfolio. The idea behind this is to push through the nuclear deal with Russia’s Rosatom before Zuma’s term ends. If a candidate other than Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wins the ANC’s presidential election, Zuma could soon be ousted as state president and the whole nuclear deal, which is said to be worth around 1 trillion rand, could go up in smoke.

Maize Industry: Current Status

  • Article Date: 2017/10/23 | Category: Other

AMT's Market Expectations

Maize prices are relatively subdued while the rand shows a lot more volatility.

Expectations are that the ZAR might continue it's weakening trend due to political uncertainty, as well as significant events in the political arena. This is already pushing maize prices slightly upwards. This trend may continue especially if less hectares of white maize is planted.

Talks of a possible shift in hectares, from white maize to oil-seeds due to price competitiveness, could be seen in this week's intentions to plant report from the NCEC. But, producers should not be too hasty in making this kind of decision, as prices will surely still change a lot on the back of a possible weaker rand going into the end of the year. Maize production areas could receive good rainfall between November 2017 and February 2018, boosting pollination. Maize exports are disappointing, with only 10 971 tons of maize exported last week. This slow pace is unlikely to change in the near term, as
traditional export markets are well supplied. SAGIS producer deliveries and trade data will also be released this week.

Zuma Cabinet Reshuffle

  • Article Date: 2017/10/17 | Category: Other

Much of the resilience of the Rand against some of the major currencies can be attributed to investors’ appetite for investments in emerging markets, the rise in commodity prices and the narrowing of the current account deficit.

However, volatility in the currency is expected to increase with political uncertainty that are becoming more prevalent. This is evident from the latest developments, with the Rand that rallied on the back of the high court ruling that could lead to the reinstatement of the more than 750 corruption charges against President Zuma, only to lose ground following the most recent Cabinet reshuffle on the 17 October 2017.

It is however expected that the Rand will continue to show some form of resilience and remain within the current trading band against the major currencies.

The question now is what the impact on the Rand will be when the NPA decide not to prosecute Zuma on his corruption charges, as is expected.

Vegetable Prices reach new highs

  • Article Date: 2017/10/16 | Category: Other

The average weekly potato price increased by 10% from R46.93 to R51.84 per 10kg bag to break through the R50/10kg barrier for the first time in 2017.

This high price is however expected to fall back below this barrier in the coming week due to lower expected demand compared to last week. Low volumes however may support the price. With this in mind, the price is expected to decrease slightly in the coming week.

The current high level of the tomato price (R8.24/kg) may put a downward pressure on demand in the coming week while lower volumes may support the price. Taking these factors as well as the season trends into consideration, the price is expected to decrease in the coming week.

Similar to potatoes, the onion price also reached new highs the past week when it broke through the R5/kg mark for the first time in 2017. This will most likely put a downward pressure on demand and price in the coming week. However, low volumes may support the price to not fall below the R5/kg mark in the coming week.

Subscribe to the weekly vegetable reports for weekly updates.

Feedlot Industry

  • Article Date: 2017/10/13 | Category: Other

The annual feedlot report as published by AMT highlighted the sensitivity of economic and management factors on the profitability of the feedlot industry using several possible scenarios.  Uncontrollable economic factors including the input (weaner and feed) prices and the output (A2/A3 carcass) price directly influences the profitability of the industry. 

In nominal terms the live weaner price increased more rapidly than carcass prices due to lack of supply in the main production areas. This is the exact opposite of what happened during the 2015/2016 season. The weaner/A2/A3 carcass price ratio is currently (September 2017) at 0.70 which is 0.10 points above the long term average of 0.60; this implies that weaner prices are proportionally high compared to the A2/A3 carcass price.

This scenario, of relatively high weaner prices in comparison with carcass prices, were last evident in 2010. Real (adjusted for inflation) weaner and carcass prices has reached a new high (the previous high was December 2011).

It is expected that weaner as well as carcass prices will remain high but will move sideways during the short-term due to still limited supply, there might be marginal increases in the carcass price towards the end of the year as the festive season approaches. The Southern and Western parts of the country is still effected by prevailing dry conditions which could lead to marginal increases in supply, however the affected areas are not the main cattle production regions.

Producers are currently in a herd-building phase after the prolonged drought caused induced culling practises due to lack of grazing. This is the main driver of the current high demand for breeding animals. The effect of the drought will not be normalised in the short term and could take more than two production seasons.

For the full report, please register and subscribe in our online store. For personalised planning on the feedlot industry please contact Dr David Spies at 018 299 2373.

Mixed outlook for the maize and oilseeds markets

  • Article Date: 2017/09/13 | Category: Other


The SAFEX price for Soybeans remains down over the medium to long term, with current levels mostly sideways due to the latest harvesting done, and indications of a large crop to be supplied.

SAFEX Sunflower seed found some support in the last week, but also remains mostly bearish over the longer term. Weather will become more of a driving factor in the months to come, before new season  planting decisions are made.

Oilseed Market Expectations:

At the current stage the market seems to be neutral and waiting for news about conditions that will help in decision making for the new planting season. However, sentiment might be of lower prices for the new season.


Although prices increased compared to last week, it is still significantly lower (57% lower for white maize and 40% lower for yellow maize) compared to a year ago. This happened even though the CBOT Maize price is currently 4.5% higher than the same time last year.

A major contributor to the current low levels of the maize price is high supply levels coupled with a strong exchange rate (R12.93 for 1 US$).

It is furthermore expected that current price levels will continue for the next two to three months as high volumes of maize need to be absorbed by the market. This will most likely result in slightly lower plantings for the 2017/18 production season with the assumption that the major maize production regions in South Africa will receive sufficient rainfall before the coming planting window. This situation may result in a slight upward pressure on the price for 2018.

Maize Market Expectations:

It is therefore expected that the price will remain at current levels for the next week and that a price of between R2050/t and R2100/t can possibly be reached next year at harvesting time.


See Weekly Maize and Oilseed Reports for a weekly update and more information

Vegetable Market Overview

  • Article Date: 2017/08/08 | Category: Other

The average weekly potato price increased by 10% from R46.93 to R51.84 per 10kg bag to break through the R50/10kg barrier for the first time in 2017.

This high price is however expected to fall back below this barrier in the coming week due to lower expected demand compared to last week. Low volumes however may support the price. With this in mind, the price is expected to decrease slightly in the coming week.

The current high level of the tomato price (R8.24/kg) may put a downward pressure on demand in the coming week while lower volumes may support the price. Taking these factors as well as the season trends into consideration, the price is expected to decrease in the coming week.

Similar to potatoes, the onion price also reached new highs the past week when it broke through the R5/kg mark for the first time in 2017. This will most likely put a downward pressure on demand and price in the coming week. However, low volumes may support the price to not fall below the R5/kg mark in the coming week.

Subscribe to the weekly vegetable reports for weekly updates.

Agricultural Economic Review

  • Article Date: 2017/07/19 | Category: Other

Global growth is expected to regain some momentum during 2017 due to improved economic activity in Asia. Expectations are that the US will also continue to build on the ground gained in the past year while private consumption in the EU, India and other countries around the world boast well for agriculture in general.

Even though the global economy shows signs of live, the South African economy continue to face several headwinds. These range from policy, business and investor uncertainty that stems mainly from political based decisions and feuds within the ruling party. The impact of the recent downgrades are also likely to become more visible in the months to come. As a result, the prospects of any meaningful economic recovery over the short to medium term has vanished. Coupled with this is the fact that agricultural debt levels continue to rise while solvency ratios are weakening which will add to the already challenging environment for producers. As a result, the likelihood of a cost price squeeze situation is on the rise.

Despite all the challenges, gross farm income remains on the up, net farm income kept trend with gross farm income for most of the past decade and it is expected that the agricultural sector will remain a net exporter in the foreseeable future.