Agri Trends – 02 March 2018 – Grains, Oilseeds & Vegetables

Agriculture, South Africa’s potential to economic growth!

South African producers are rated among the best in the world. However, at the latest “Hacking the Farm” TEDx event the importance of agriculture was highlighted. The country’s producers are well able to supply and its vast population even during the harshest conditions as previously seen during the drought years. Primary agriculture only contributes about 2% to the GDP, however further linkages in the agro processing and manufacturing sector adds more significantly to the total GDP. A big concern is that the average age of farmers in SA is about 62 years. The question was why young people are steering away from agriculture? One of the reasons is that the industry was never painted as lucrative, or appealing to the youth as opposed to other industries. It is time that agriculture gets celebrated for the beacon of hope that it is. Industry should encourage young people to participate, invest and learn in this sector and change the old-age mind-set, because who will produce our food 20-30 years from now? The latest technological developments in agriculture poses a great opportunity for anybody interested in agriculture to pursue a career. And this is not only limited to producing the crops, livestock and fibre. For more info on the past event visit



  • The commercial maize revised area estimate is 2 302 700 ha (12.40% or 325 900 ha less than the 2 628 600 ha planted previous season and 0.28% or 6 500 ha less than the preliminary area estimate of 2 309 200 ha released in January 2018). Favourable weather outlook and the volatility of the Rand will remain particular focus areas, impacting the market. Export activity remains sluggish. With the current strong Rand and lower domestic prices, we anticipate better commercial buying.


  • Sunflower seed planting was below expectations due to lower rainfall received in January 2018.
  • The revised sunflower seed area estimate is 584 900 hectares (8% or 50 850 hectares less than the previous planted area of 635 750 ha). Sunflower seed production is expected at 731 505 tons (16% less than 874 000 tons of the previous season. Improving weather conditions are raising the soybean crop production prospects.
  • Prices are currently enjoying international price support; however we expect the increased production of soybeans to add to current stocks which may place oilseed prices under strain.


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Published on Wed, 7th Mar 2018 - 07:21