10 FEBRUARY 2017
Agbiz response to SONA 2017 

Against the backdrop of chaotic and unacceptable scenes in Parliament, slow growth and massive unemployment, an increasingly fractious and fractured country, and an agriculture and agribusiness sector recently severely stress-tested by a disaster drought, President Jacob Zuma delivered the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on the 9th of February 2017.  Agbiz has been closely involved in the CEO Initiative referred to in the SONA, as well as in the Presidential Business Working Group, NEDLAC processes, the development of the new AgriBEE Sector Code and various other policy and legislation platforms to generate inclusive growth, sustainable transformation and a prosperous society. 

"By better defining 'radical socio-economic transformation', and that it will by and large be driven within the existing legislative framework, is useful and at least a good starting point for further engagement. That land reform will be conducted within the ambit of the Constitution, is also a good point of departure. An interesting addition though is the proposed amendment to the Competition Act to address so-called concentration, and Agbiz will participate in that debate," says Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz - Read full media statement»

Recent data from the South African Grain Information Services (SAGIS) indicates that the newly calculated wheat import tariff is R1 190.19 per ton, which is 25% lower than the current level of R1 591.40 per ton. This newly calculated duty will not be active until published in the Government Gazette. Agbiz economists, Tinashe Kapuya and Wandile Sihlobo, provide more information in the linked update»

SA's agricultural machinery sales show a monthly uptick

Recent agricultural machinery sales data indicates that in January 2017, tractor sales were down by 18% when compared to January 2016 - with 478 units sold. However, this was 37% higher than the previous month's sales. Meanwhile, combine harvester sales were at the same level as for January 2016 - with only 16 units sold. This was double the sales seen in December 2016.  Wandile Sihlobo reveals more in the linked update»

South Africa's agriculture minister says it is taking measures to determine the extent of damage from the armyworm pest in the Limpopo province. This follows confirmation of its detection on Friday. Wandile Sihlobo, Economist at the agricultural business chamber joined CNBC Africa for more - watch 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
US-Africa trade and investment relations: What can we expect from a Trump Administration?

Around this time last year, the Assistant Trade Representative (AUSTR) for Agriculture Mrs Sharon Bomer-Lauritsen visited South Africa and met business leaders to discuss the expectations of private sector in a new imagined US-RSA trade relationship. Though unlikely, there was a modicum of expectation that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would eventually be signed off and become a gold standard that would guide a future free trade agreement (FTA) between the US and Africa.  Fast forward a year later, the TPP is facing certain death after President Trump signed off a notice of intent to walk away from the mega-regional agreement.  Tinashe Kapuya, Head: International trade and investment intelligence at Agbiz reveals more in the linked article»
Wheat Indaba *** Now fully booked ***

Agbiz Grain will be hosting two Wheat Indabas during February to discuss progress made with the wheat industry plan. Key topics include the wheat import tariff, the new statutory levy on wheat, relaxation of wheat cultivar release requirements, trading guaranteed grade wheat, and developments around the revitalisation of the wheat industry.  Mariana Purnell, general manager of Agbiz Grain, provides more information about the indabas in the   linked radio interview»  
ENSO-neutral conditions return and will continue through to Autumn of 2017  

La Niña conditions are no longer present, with slightly below-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) observed across the central equatorial Pacific and above-average SSTs increasing in the eastern Pacific. The latest weekly Niño index values were -0.3°C in the westernmost Niño-4 and Niño-3.4 regions, and +1.5°C in the easternmost Niño-1+2 region (Fig. 2). The upper-ocean heat content anomaly increased during January and was slightly positive when averaged across the eastern Pacific, a reflection of above-average temperatures at depth. Atmospheric convection remained suppressed over the central tropical Pacific and enhanced over Indonesia. The low-level easterly winds were slightly enhanced over the western tropical Pacific, and upper-level westerly winds were near average. Overall, the ocean and atmosphere system is consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions. Please click on ENSO Diagnostic to peruse full report.
Wheat Indaba
17 February 2017 | Pretoria (fully booked)
21 February 2017 | Elsenburg
More information

Seminar - From Trade Rules to Trade Deals: Whither US Trade Policy in the Trump Administration?
28 February 2017 | BUSA Offices, Rivonia
More information and programme

7th Undercover Farming Expo & Conference
7 - 8 March 2017 |CSIR Convention Centre | Pretoria
For more information contact Suzanne Oosthuizen on e-mail: CGA Citrus Summit
8 - 9 March 2017 | Port Elizabeth
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GOSA Symposium and Annual General Meeting
22 - 23 March 2017 | Mosselbay
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Water & Climate Congress
22 - 24 March 2017
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Annual Road Transport Legislation Workshop
23 May 2017 - Stellenbosch
25 May 2017 - Durban 
8 June 2017 - Pretoria 
More information

Fertasa Annual Congress
3 - 4 May 2017 | Durban
More information»

Agri-finance for non-financial managers
30 May - 3 June 2016
Presented by Purdue University in Africa
More information

International Conference on Global Food Security
8 - 11 October 2017 | Cape Town  International Convention Centre, 
Conference Theme: Food Security: Global challenges, local solutions
More information
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