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Great harvests (2nd largest maize production ever) to drive down food prices

23 June 2020 9:20 AM
Tags:
GDP
Economy
Food production
Agriculture
Economic growth
Competition Commission
Food
Food inflation
Agricultural Business Chamber
maize harvest
Refilwe Moloto
economist
AgBiz
Wandile Sihlobo
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
agricultural exports

South Africa’s farms are producing massive amounts of food right now, says Wandile Sihlobo of the Agricultural Business Chamber.

(Related article: South Africans are, literally, starving! - Lorenzo Davids, Community Chest WC)


The rand has recovered somewhat since blowing out earlier the year and harvests have been good.

So good, in fact, the current maize harvest – up 38% from last season – is the second-largest in South Africa’s entire history.

© arrowsmith2/123rf.com

The Competition Commission, expecting food prices to fall, promises to keep its eyes on retailers to ensure they pass on savings to consumers.

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Wandile Sihlobo, an economist at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz).

The spike that you saw in some products just after we entered lockdown was, in part, due to disruptions in the value chain… Regulators didn’t look closely at how the functioning of the food sector is interlinked… The chain is working again…

Wandile Sihlobo, economist - Agricultural Business Chamber

Basic grain-related staple foods and fruit… we’re seeing the second-largest harvest in history! The increase in output will drive prices down in the coming months… Meat-related products might not see a quicker easing such as what you might expect with grain and fruit… Overall, this is going to be a better year in terms of food costs.

Wandile Sihlobo, economist - Agricultural Business Chamber

We forecast food price inflation for the year at 4%. Last year’s average was 3.1%... Key staple grains, fruit and vegetables will be easing more…

Wandile Sihlobo, economist - Agricultural Business Chamber

South Africa is a net exporter of many [food] products. We export nearly 50% of what we produce… Even in the first quarter of this year, we had a trade surplus… Our trade balance was up 16% compared to Q1 last year… Exports for the year will be higher than last year… There’ll actually be an expansion in agricultural GDP…

Wandile Sihlobo, economist - Agricultural Business Chamber

We export high-value products… If you look at our performance since 2001, we’ve seen agricultural exports expand from R2 billion to R10 billion…

Wandile Sihlobo, economist - Agricultural Business Chamber

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


23 June 2020 9:20 AM
Tags:
GDP
Economy
Food production
Agriculture
Economic growth
Competition Commission
Food
Food inflation
Agricultural Business Chamber
maize harvest
Refilwe Moloto
economist
AgBiz
Wandile Sihlobo
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
agricultural exports

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