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South Africa: Bumper Agro Exports Could Exceed Last Year’s R140 Billion Mark

3 June 2021 – This year, South Africa’s agricultural exports could exceed 2020’s $10.2 billion (R140.2 bln) as there have been large production volumes of various crops and fruits -as well as a sound output in the wool industry.

Chief economist Wandile Sihlobo from the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) said yesterday that the country’s agricultural imports increased marginally by 4 percent year-on-year to $1.6 bln in the first quarter.

“The top imported products were the usual ones where domestic consumption usually outstrips domestic production. These include wheat, rice, palm oil, soybean oilcake/meal, beer from malt, poultry products, live cattle and whiskies. We believe rice, wheat, and palm oil will dominate the agricultural import product list for the year,” said Sihlobo.

He added said the agricultural sector had a good start to 2021, with favourable rainfall supporting crop yields. According to him, this was the second consecutive season of strong performance for the sector after 2020 saw bumper harvests and the second-largest export earnings on record of $10.2 bln. With 2021 set to present even larger yields than 2020 for major field crops, horticulture and the wine industry, Agbiz believed that exports could surpass last year’s levels. Source (Fresh Plaza)