28 October 2016
Economic and agribusiness intelligence
Agbiz response to Minister Gordhan's medium-term budget policy statement

Rarely has a medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) generated as much interest as the MTBPS of today, and rightly so. With continued sluggish and deteriorating economic growth, and increased demands on the fiscus for 'free' higher education, drought and other support for the agricultural sector, social welfare, a nuclear power programme and many more, Minister Gordhan and National Treasury have had a tough job to balance expenditure with lagging tax revenue.  Read full media statement issued by Agbiz»
Five legal trends in USA Food System

As global food systems become more industrialized and complex, so does the legal framework within which agro-food systems must operate. At the recent 37th annual 2016 American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) Symposium in Oklahoma City, the symposium covered a wide range of legal topics (including ag-finance and collateral, veterinary feed laws, animal and human food safety, mergers and antitrust concerns, farm data use and collection, regulation and advances in genetic engineering, criminal liability for food contamination, and many more topics), and its attendees were enthusiastic and engaged. Five major legal trends emerged from the Symposium and it is incumbent on the agribusiness industry to note how these trends will shape the agro-food landscape as they also have much relevance to the South African situation. Please click on Five Legal Trends to peruse.  

Increasingly lawmakers across the globe are enforcing the consumer's right to know, the consumer's right to safe food, and the consumer's right to nutritious food. While GM labelling is a controversial and as yet unresolved issue in South Africa (even between government departments), as it is also in the USA, it is the introduction of mandatory inspections under the Agricultural Products Standards Act (APSA) that role players need to take serious note of. Section 2(3) (a) of the Agricultural Product Standards Act, 119 of 1990 states that "The Minister may, for the purpose of the application of the Act or certain provisions thereof, with regard to a particular product, designate any person, undertaking, body, institution, association or board having particular knowledge in respect of the product concern, as an assignee of that product". The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) released a press statement in September this year indicating  the designated assignees - click press statement to peruse. Agbiz, and specifically Agbiz Grain, is engaging DAFF and the designated assignees on the inspections and  the additional cost to business that newly introduced inspections will have on the cost of food. Constructive progress is being made in these complex negotiations and  members will be kept abreast of developments.
NAMC submits Annual Report to Parliament 

This past week the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) submitted its Annual Report to the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Parliament. Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, has served on the NAMC Council for the past four years. Please click on NAMC Annual Report to peruse the presentation that was made.
Economic and agribusiness intelligence
South Africa's summer crops hectares set to increase

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 3.75 million hectares in 2016/17 season. Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»
South Africa's food producer inflation falls

Recent producer price index data indicates that in September 2016, producer inflation for final manufactured goods decelerated to 6.6% from 7.2% year-on-year (y/y) in the previous month. Food products (producer) inflation eased at 13.1% y/y from 13.4% y/y in August 2016. This suggests that consumer inflation (food) is likely to decelerate over the coming months. Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked update»

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 sunflower seed production could reach 48 million tons, which would be a 14% year-on-year (y/y) increase and the highest volume in the past 5-years. This comes after an 8% y/y increase in area plantings to 27.5 million hectares.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the linked article»

GFADA Regardless of interesting climatic and infrastructural developments, policy uncertainty in Zambia remains a key concern, writes Wandile Sihlobo in an article that was published on Thursday in Business Day.

"As part of my functions at the Agribusiness Chamber (Agbiz) I recently engaged with agribusiness leaders in the agricultural inputs and insurance industries to share my observations regarding crop production trends in Southern Africa in the 2015-16 season."  Read full article here»
Daily view on commodity markets

Daily commentaries on agricultural commodity markets and macro-economic trends are available on the Agbiz website  www.agbiz.co.za
International trade and investment intelligence
Agbiz attends the Fifth Annual International Economic Law Update

On 14th October 2016, Agbiz attended the 5th Annual International Economic Law updated that was hosted by the Mandela Institute at Webber Wentzel in Sandton, Johannesburg. The meeting tackled three main issues, namely:
(1)    The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Agreement
(2)    The governance issues within the WTO Appellate Body
(3)     Trade and Regulation issues related to Brexit
Tinashe Kapuya, Head International Trade and Investment at Agbiz, answers some questions in the linked feedback report»

Further reading:
Brexit [SA-UK trade relations]»
Brexit WTO issues»
Composition of Tripartite Free Trade Area»
Transition from TDCA to EPA

Find linked a notice to Agbiz members regarding the transition from the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) to EPA.  The amendment of rules was published in Government Gazette (Vol. 616) published on 12 October 2016.
Agbiz Grain
Southern African Grain Laboratory
The Southern African Grain Laboratory (SAGL) recently reported at the annual Maize Forum regarding its activities and new developments. The SAGL act as a reference laboratory for the grain and oilseeds industries in Southern Africa and is ISO 17025 accredited since 1999. The SAGL has performed an annual maize crop quality survey since 1998 and has analysed mycotoxin levels in maize since 2009. The relevant industry sectors are all represented on the SAGL's Board of Directors.  Mariana Purnell of Agbiz Grain is an Executive Board member of SAGL.  Linked is the presentation done by Jolanda Nortjé of SAGL.
South African Grain Information Service

The report of the South African Grain Information Service (SAGIS) at the annual Maize Forum drew a lot of attention this year.  In view of the drought, the SAGIS statistics about white and yellow maize deliveries, exports and imports as well as price movements and transportation is vitally important to the industry. SAGIS information about maize products highlighted the first full year of data. The relevant industry sectors are all represented on the SAGL's Board of Directors.  Mariana Purnell of Agbiz Grain is a Board member of SAGIS.   Click to open the presentation done by SAGIS General Manager, Nico Hawkins.  
Skills development in agribusiness
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
DuPont Pioneer celebrates yield contest winners in South Africa 
On Thursday DuPont Pioneer announced the seven winners who achieved top crop yields in the annual 2015 Weigh to Win national yield competition for maize and soybean farmers in South Africa.  

"The celebration of the winners of this competition comes at a time when South African farmers experienced the worst drought in 100 years. Pioneer is proud of all the farmers who entered the competition despite challenges of the drought experienced in the 2015-2016 season," said Tony Esmeraldo, DuPont Pioneer commercial leader, South Africa.  Read more»
Old Mutual wins awards

Old Mutual has achieved the highest score among investment and insurance companies in 2016 Mail & Guardian Top Companies Reputation Index.   Old Mutual has also received the 2016 Most Empowered Employment Equity Company Award at an annual event that celebrates the JSE's 100 most empowered companies.   The linked  documents give more background and context:
Signa nominated as NBA finalist 

Signa Group has been selected as a finalist in the Corporate Citizenship Award at the 14th Annual National Business Awards.  Read more»
Industry news
Auditor General reports to Parliament on DAFF and its institutions

This past week the Auditor General briefed the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Parliament on its findings for the 2015/2016 financial year. Please click on AGSA Findings on DAFF to peruse interesting and concise presentation.
DAFF presents annual report to Portfolio Committee 

Find Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' (DAFF) annual report presentation linked» 
University of Stellenbosch launches Logistics Barometer 2016

On Thursday the University of Stellenbosch has launched the Logistics Barometer 2016.  The Logistics Barometer is an annual research report that presents the latest national freight flow and cost of logistics statistics and discusses insights and research regarding the cost and performance drivers relevant to the South African Industry. Click the following link for more information:  www.sun.ac.za/logisticsbarometer
News around the web
Africa feeding Africa

The State of Food and Agriculture 2016: Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

The pledge to eradicate hunger and poverty must go hand in hand with rapid transformations of farming and food systems to cope with a warmer world, FAO says in a new report.   Agriculture, including forestry, fisheries and livestock production, generate around a fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture must both contribute more to combating climate change while bracing to overcome its impacts, according to The State of Food and Agriculture 2016.
Click the link to download the report  http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6030e.pdf
Upcoming Events
Social Media
Follow Agbiz on Facebook and Twitter

Be sure to follow Agbiz on Twitter and Facebook for the latest industry news and events.
In this newsletter

Information brochure»