16 September 2016
Final reminder:  
Agbiz/IDC Confidence Index questionnaire

Thank you to all who have already completed and submitted the  questionnaire for  the Agbiz/IDC Confidence Index - Quarter 3 . If you have not yet submitted your input, please complete the linked online questionnaire and submit your responses before 14:00 on  16 September 2016. For  assistance, please contact Wandile Sihlobo on e-mail: wandile@agbiz.co.za
Policy and legislation
Intellectual Property Rights Framework released by DTI for comment

Government this week published the Intellectual Property Rights Framework in the Government Gazette for comment. Intellectual property is an important aspect of business in the agribusiness environment, specifically in terms of patents and Plant Breeders Rights that seed companies may hold. Please peruse by clicking on Intellectual Property Rights Framework»
Drought relief report

Several surveys have been done across South Africa to estimate the extent of the drought. At the CEO Steering Committee meeting held on 12 September 2016, Dr Mmaphaka Tau, DDG: Forestry & Natural Resources Management, gave feedback on the August drought report which defined the impact on food security, outlined various interventions and proposed drought adaptations plans. Dr Tau's presentation is linked.   Mariana Purnell, General Manager of Agbiz Grain, attended the meeting.
Economic and agribusiness intelligence
South African fuel prices set to increase in the coming month 

Preliminary estimates from the Central Energy Fund suggest that petrol and diesel prices could increase by 44 cents per litre (c/l) and 14 c/l, respectively, on 5 October 2016. This could bring the retail price of petrol (95 unleaded) to R12.61 per litre from the current level of R12.17 per litre. At the same time, diesel price (0.05%) could increase to R10.62 per litre from the current levels of R10.48 per litre.    Wandile Sihlobo, Head Agribusiness Intelligence at Agbiz, provides more information in the  linked update»
Food and beverages manufacturing output declines  

Recent data from Statistics South Africa indicates that the food and beverages sector's manufacturing output declined by 0.8% year-on-year (y/y) in July 2016. The decline in grain milling output is in line with a monthly decrease in maize meal production and other grain food products. Moreover, a decline in the output of dairy products coincides with a seasonal production trend in the milk industry. During winter season, production tends to decrease and that in turn affects the output in dairy products.   Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»
Sharp decline in South Africa's combine harvester sales 

The recent agricultural machinery sales data released by the South African Agricultural Machinery Association indicated that in August 2016, combine harvester sales were down by 60% when compared to August 2015, only 6 units sold. This is the lowest sales level since January 2015, and it is reflective of reduced harvest activity on the back of lower crop production. At the same time, tractor sales were down by 22% y/y to 460 units, from 589 units in August 2015.
Looking ahead , the downward risk is that a number of weather forecasters have been sending mixed signals. Some have revised down their estimated La Niña occurrence to levels around 50%, from earlier estimates of 75%. Moreover, escalating farm debt, which increased 7% to R125 billion in 2016, from R117 billion in 2015 - remains a key risk which could potentially reduce farmers' ability to further invest in machinery and equipment. The weaker Rand against the US Dollar also remains a key risk in the agricultural machinery market.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»
Commentaries on agri-commodities 

Daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends are available on the Agbiz website  www.agbiz.co.za
Weekly key events in the South African agricultural markets are consolidated in a RSA Agricultural Commodities Weekly Wrap.    The latest wrap is available on the Agbiz website  www.agbiz.co.za
International trade intelligence
Africa's Green Revolution now urgently needed

The week of the 5th - 9th September saw some 1 500 delegates converging for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi, Kenya.  This year's theme was titled: "Seize the Moment: Securing Africa's Rise through Agricultural Transformation".   Beyond the significance of this year's conference - which also celebrated the decade old existence of AGRA - was a celebration of the collective effort of all Africans for the work that has been done in the continent to advance the agenda of agricultural transformation. In celebrating existing and on-going work across the continent, delegates were not in any way disillusioned by the significance of the challenge that still exists.  Find linked a full report by Tinashe Kapuya, Head International Trade Intelligence at Agbiz, who attended the conference.
Agribusiness Centenary Bursary - Apply now
Agbiz is making available an annual bursary to a South African student registered for a Masters or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management related fields. The application deadline is 9 December 2016.  More information»
Members' news
Bayer and Monsanto to create a global leader in agriculture
Bayer and Monsanto this week announcement that they signed a definitive merger agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto in an all-cash transaction.  The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2017.  Read media release»

Obtain more information at the following links:
Message by Liam Condon, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President Crop Science»
DuPont Pioneer launches yield contest in South Africa

DuPont Pioneer today unveiled the very first annual Weigh to Win national yield competition for maize and soybean farmers in South Africa.   The competition is open to all South African grain farmers and is held in collaboration with John Deere, First National Bank and Senter360, a South African centre-pivot manufacturer.    More information»
Cellar workers excel

The top participants in the Winetech Study Groups for cellar workers were just announced, and stand the chance to be honoured as the 2016 SA Cellar Worker of the Year. "The competition was so tough that we have 14 finalists this year, compared to the usual Top 10. Some of the finalists obtained the same mark," said Santi Basson, project leader of the Winetech Study Groups and SA Cellar Worker Programme. The programme aims to empower cellar workers by transferring knowledge and technology during an annual series of Winetech Study Groups in the respective wine grape growing areas, followed by an evaluation and award to the top cellar worker. A total of 369 cellar workers participated in the Winetech Study Groups. All of the finalists obtained a mark higher than 85%. Read more»
Signa BEE Update

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News around the web
Is your agribusiness or agro-processing business looking for investment?

The African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII) is a business platform that connects African bankable projects with global investors.  The AAII features both public and private sector projects that are seeking investment across the continent. If you are a project developer or owner seeking funding, introduce your project to hundreds of global investors and financiers. From private banks to
asset managers and private equity players to debt finance providers and multi-lateral investment agencies.  Complete and submit the AAII Bankable database form online at www.agri-indaba.com/bankable-agri-projects/
Submissions must be received by 23 September 2016.
Bridges Africa - Trade and sustainable development news and analysis on Africa

View the September newsletter here»
Werksmans Legal Werks

View the September newsletter here»
Upcoming Events
AMT Agri-Outlook Conference
28 September 2016 | CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
International Conference on Research Infrastructure
3 - 5 October 2016 | Cape Town
Click for  more information»
Agri 5 Commodities Workshop
5 - 6 October 2016 | Bloemfontein
Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference
10 - 12 October 2016 | Dar es Salaam | Tanzania
Members of AGBIZ can register for the conference here using the code AGBIZ1 and will save 15% off the final delegate rate.   The brochure with details of all the sessions and the expert speaker panel can now be viewed here .   More information»
Africa Agri Investment Indaba
28 - 30 November 2016 | Cape Town International Convention Centre
Water & Climate Congress
22 - 24 March 2016
Social Media
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