Agriculture

Eastern Cape shows agricultural promise

by Wandile Sihlobo, head of economic and agribusiness intelligence at Agbiz on Jan 5th, 2017|

*This was first published in Wandile Sihlobo’s column for Business Day on 5 January 2017.

Last year was a challenging one for the South African agricultural sector, characterised by an El Niño-induced drought. Fortunately, this weather event appears to have […]

Agricultural policy needs to acknowledge the leadership role women play

by Wandile Sihlobo, head of economic and agribusiness intelligence at Agbiz on Dec 19th, 2016|

* This article was published in The Huffington Post on 19 December 2016.

Most of Africa’s smallholding agricultural output is from women. It is counterproductive to continue seeing agriculture as a man’s pursuit.

Policy and investment decisions should be informed by the […]

Better rains bring a sunnier outlook for SA’s farmers — and consumers

by Wandile Sihlobo, head of economic and agribusiness intelligence at Agbiz on Dec 16th, 2016|

*This was first published in Wandile Sihlobo’s column for Business Day on 16 December 2016.

The growing optimism in the sector is apparent — but relief and a full recovery will take more than a single season to filter through, writes […]

UPDATE: South Africa’s agricultural machinery sales see slight uptick

by Wandile Sihlobo, Head Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence at Agbiz on Dec 12th, 2016|

Recent agricultural machinery sales data indicates that in November 2016, tractor sales were up by 0.2% when compared to November 2015 — with 453 units sold. However, this was 20% lower than the previous month’s sales. At the same […]

Canola shows crucial growth in South Africa, but is set to decline globally

by Wandile Sihlobo on Nov 17th, 2016|

Although it is among the least discussed, canola seed is a crop experiencing significant growth in South Africa. This particular crop has seen tremendous progression over the past 18 years – from just 17 000 hectares in 1998 to 68 075 […]

UPDATE: South African fuel prices set to drop next month

by Wandile Sihlobo, Head Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence at Agbiz on Nov 15th, 2016|

Preliminary estimates from the Central Energy Fund suggest that petrol (95 ULP Inland) and diesel (0.05% Wholesale Inland) prices could decline by 45 cents per litre (c/l) and 39 c/l, respectively, on 07 December 2016. This could bring the […]

Soybean to surge in the 2016/17 production season

by Wandile Sihlobo on Nov 1st, 2016|

In the 2016/17 production season, the world is set to see the biggest soybean crop in a decade. Recent estimates from the International Grains Council (IGC) suggest that 2016/17 global soybeans production could reach 332 million tons, which would […]

South Africa’s summer crops hectares set to increase

by Wandile Sihlobo on Oct 27th, 2016|

South Africa’s 2016/17 summer crops “intentions to plant” data paints a mixed picture. Taking a broader view, the data shows an expected 15% year-on-year (y/y) increase in summer crops hectares, from 3.27 million hectares in 2015/16 production season to […]

Sunflower seed production soars

by Wandile Sihlobo on Oct 25th, 2016|

Despite the decline in sunflower seed production over the past few years, the world is set to harvest a bumper crop in the 2016/17 production season. Recent estimates from SUNSEEDMAN, a Turkish based consulting group, suggest that 2016/17 global […]

UPDATE: South African food inflation unchanged

by Wandile Sihlobo on Oct 19th, 2016|

Figures released this morning by Statistics South Africa show that headline inflation has accelerated to 6.1% year-on-year (y/y) in September 2016 from 5.9% y/y in the previous month, with rentals for housing and owners’ equivalent rent being the key […]