27 October 2017
Agbiz response to Minister Gigaba's Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement 
This year's Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement comes against the backdrop of low business confidence and low economic growth, with GDP being revised down to 0.7% for 2017 from 1.3% in the previous statement,  said John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz.  At the same time, the consolidated budget deficit is projected at 4.3% in the 2017/2018 financial year, up from 3.3% in 2016/2017. Of concern is that there was little in the MTBPS to instil confidence and indicate a growth strategy, while no substantial revenue measures were indicated - Read media statement»

South Africa's overall 2017/18 summer crops intentions-to-plant data paints an optimistic picture, with the total area plantings expected to increase by 1% from the previous season to 4.03 million hectares. However, there are disparities within the summer crop cluster. All oilseeds and sorghum area hectares are expected to increase, with the exception of the maize area which is set to decline by 6% from the previous season to 2.47 million hectares. This slightly better than Bloomberg's consensus forecast of 9% year-on-year decline in maize plantings to 2.39 million hectares. Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist provides more information in the  linked update»

Food products' price inflation eased to 1.3% y/y in September 2017, from 1.9% y/y in the previous month. The deceleration was broad-based, with the exception of dairy products which inched up from the previous month. Meat and meat products' inflation, which has been the key driver of the headline inflation for some time, also eased. This reflects an improvement in livestock slaughtering activity. However, there are still risks associated with the spread of avian influenza albeit having affected a relatively small share of broilers at the moment, with impact more pronounced on the layers. Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist provides more information in the  linked update»

South African fuel prices have been on an upward trend since August 2017, mainly driven by an increase in Brent crude oil prices, as well as a relatively weaker domestic currency. Next month, a notable uptick will be on diesel price which could be up 2% from the October 2017 price, whereas petrol might only increase by a mere 0.1%. This will add pressure on farmers as it coincides with the planting period in summer rainfall areas. Also worth noting is that, for grain and oilseed, fuel makes up roughly 11% of production costs, and a notable share is utilised during planting. Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist provides more information in the  linked update»
"Strategic interventions should be informed by facts in order to be effective in addressing societal challenges.  This rings true to the gender debate in the agricultural sector. "Many researchers (myself included) have been arguing that women should get more support if we are to boost Africa's crop production, owing to the role that female farmers play in agricultural crop production.   the World Bank released a book earlier this week which questions a number of data sets and statements about Africa's agricultural sector. The book is titled Agriculture in Africa: Telling Myths from Facts .  Having recently written a column on women's contribution to the agricultural sector, I was quickly drawn in on the chapter that dealt with the subject. The first thing which stood out was the notion that the figure often cited, namely, that roughly 80% of agricultural labour input in Africa is by women, is flawed."  Click here to read the full column which appeared in Business Day on 26 October 2017» 

Click here to read the daily market view on commodities and the weekly wrap.  

Agbiz is seeking members' kind assistance in completing the executive competitiveness opinion survey  by Friday the 27 October 2017.  T he competitiveness survey aims to identify and analyse factors constraining the growth and competitiveness of the South African agribusiness sector in order to help decision makers design better policies and restore confidence in the sector. The survey focuses on creating an enabling environment, promoting market and operational efficiency. It is estimated that the survey will takes about 15 -20 minutes of your time and can be completed online via the link:
Citrus Black Spot - Proactive market closure
The South African citrus industry has today, 20 Oct 2017, at a special meeting of the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) Citrus Black Spot (CBS) Disaster Management Committee, decided to proactively suspend the export of citrus fruit to the European Union [EU] with immediate effect (with the exception of soft citrus and exports from the Western- and Northern Cape) - Media statement by Justin Chadwick, CEO - Citrus Growers Association

Another key position in the new executive management team of NWK was filled with the appointment of Pieter Kleingeld (42) as chief financial officer -
WHO cancer agency edited "non-carcinogenic" findings from its glyphosate report 
The World Health Organization's cancer agency dismissed and edited findings from a draft of its review of the weedkiller glyphosate that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer. Glyphosate is a key ingredient in Monsanto Corp's top-selling weedkiller RoundUp -

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) is making an annual bursary of R34 000 (THIRTY-FOUR THOUSAND RAND) available to a South African student registered for a Masters or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management related fields, at any recognised South African university.  The c losing date for applications is 8 December 2017.  More information»
13th SIAMAP International Show
31 October to 5 November 2017 | Tunisia

Introduction to Aquaponics
11 November 2017 | Gauteng (East of Pretoria)
More information

African Agri Investment Indaba (AAII) 2017
20-22 November 2017 | CTICC | Cape Town
As an official partner of the AAII, Agbiz has secured a 20% discount for its members. To make use of this offer, contact 
28 - 30 November |  Johannesburg
More information

BFAP ReNAPRI Stakeholder Conference
30 Nov - 1 Dec 2017 | Lagoon Beach Hotel | Cape Town
Information: invitesrenapri@gmail.com

International Conference on Global Food Security 
3-6 December 2017 | Cape Town
More information

VinPro Information Day
18 January 2018 | CTICC | Cape Town
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