24 FEBRUARY 2017

"From an agribusiness perspective, this year's budget speech comes against the backdrop of high food price inflation, a recent positive upturn in agribusiness confidence, and a convergence of factors that are now generally more favourable to agricultural production.  This follows on severe drought conditions over the past few years that resulted in the agricultural sector going into an extended and severe recession since early 2015," says Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz -  Media statement
DAFF presents to Parliament on Fall Armyworm 

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) presented to the Portfolio Committee in Parliament on the first outbreak of the potentially devastating Fall Armyworm in South Africa. Please click on Fall Armyworm presentation to peruse presentation.

In the daily and weekly Agbiz Market reports, Agbiz economist, Wandile Sihlobo in late 2016 already reported on the advance of these caterpillars through Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Fortunately, South Africa has had the foresight to adopt GM technology in the 1990's, as well as concomitantly adopting a Biosafety Protocol with this technology, and this will enable the country to manage and control this pest much better than its neighbours, who have not adopted the GM technology. Emergency registration of pesticides has also been facilitated by DAFF and Agro-chemical companies to ensure further effective chemical control, if necessary. Thousands of hectares of especially maize have already been destroyed in the countries mentioned - please peruse FAO Statement on Fall Armyworm in southern Africa Region.

The recent producer price inflation data signals an easing of price pressures that could be passed on to the consumer over the coming months and be reflected in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data. Figures released this week showed that South Africa's food producer price inflation decelerated 10.6% y/y in January 2017 from 12.2% in December 2016.  Wandile Sihlobo, Head Economic and Agribusiness Intelligence at Agbiz, provides more information in the linked document»
SA's bread and maize meal production painted a mixed picture in December 2016

South Africa produced a total of 182 million loaves (units) of bread in December 2016. Of this total, 50% was brown bread, 49% white bread and the balance was whole wheat bread. This is a 2% increase from the previous month and 12% increase from the corresponding period the previous year. At the same time, maize meal production fell by 17% month-on-month and 8% year-on-year reaching a level of 225 700 tons.  Wandile Sihlobo provides more information in the  linked document»
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
Wheat Indaba  

Wheat Indabas were held on 17 and 21 February 2017 for role players in the wheat industry.   The main focus was to communicate all the changes aimed at reviving the wheat industry, as well as new regulatory requirements that impact the industry. The presentations are available to view here»
Wine excise 2017: Challenging times; collaboration needed

The South African wine industry understands Government's economic challenges, however the above-inflation hikes in wine and brandy excise will be challenging for producers and cellars to absorb.   Excise hikes of 8.8% on wine and sparkling wine and 8.5% on spirits were announced by the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, during the annual National Budget Speech on 22 February 2017.  "In a depressed economy where wine retail price increases are below inflation, wine producers and cellars will find it difficult to absorb these increases," said Rico Basson, managing director of VinPro, the representative organisation for close to 3 500 South African wine producers and cellars  - Media release
Curbing poultry imports can benefit more than just the poultry industry

The South African poultry industry's recent suggestions to government to effectively address the devastating influx of cheap dumped chicken into the local market, definitely has the potential to benefit more than just the South African poultry industry.  According to Mr De Wet Boshoff, Executive Director of the Animal Feed Manufacturers Association of South Africa (AFMA), poultry meat imported into South Africa during 2016, effectively replaced 1,5 million tons of broiler feed worth an estimated R8,2 billion (the equivalent of 15 medium sized feed mills), which could have been locally manufactured. This places a huge damper on the local feed industry - Press statement
Kaap Agri plans listing on main board of the JSE 

Western-Cape agricultural and retail business, Kaap Agri, plans to move its OTC listing to the main board of the JSE.  Sean Walsh (MD) and Graeme Sim (FD) indicated that they expect the listing to be undertaken by the end of June - Read more
Newsletter of the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum 

The linked Fresh Produce Exporters Forum (FPEF) Newsletter includes news about the Post-Harvest Innovation (PHI) Symposium held in 2016, PHI poster competition winners, Best Presentation Award for PHI project, FPEF Transformation initiatives, and more.
DuPont Pioneer sponsors master class in agricultural journalism 

DuPont Pioneer emphasises the importance of reporting skills and leadership training by sponsoring 10 outstanding agricultural journalists to participate in the IFAJ/DuPont Pioneer 2017 Master Class. The program will be held in conjunction with the Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ) global congress in late March - Read more»
DWS presents to Parliament on the status of the drought

This past week the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) presented to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation in Parliament. Specific mention is also made of the agriculture sector and the Report of the NAMC's Section 7 Committee on the Drought. Please click on DWS presentation on the Status of the Drought to peruse.
Tax overview - Werksmans Attorneys

The tax team at Werksmans Attorneys provides a tax overview in terms of the 2017/18 budget proposals in the  linked Legal Brief»
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
More information

GOSA Symposium and Annual General Meeting
22 - 23 March 2017 | Mosselbay
More information

Water & Climate Congress
22 - 24 March 2017
More information

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

Workshop on Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics
28 June 2017 | Worcester, Western Cape
More information

11th Agribusiness Africa Conference
4 - 5 July 2017 |  Emperors Palace | Johannesburg

PMA Fresh Connections Southern Africa Conference and Trade Show
16 - 17 August 2017 |  CTICC, Cape Town

International Conference on Global Food Security 
Note change of date3 - 6 December 2017 | Cape Town  International Convention Centre 
Conference Theme: Food Security: Global challenges, local solutions
More information
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