SA agricultural exports at a record high

International turmoil seems likely to benefit South African farmers, and particularly its grain industry, as global demand for wheat and maize increases and prices rise because of supply shortages.

This could result in a further improvement over 2021, which proved to be a record year for agricultural exports.

This was achieved despite a host of obstacles, including the cyberattacks at Transnet, vandalism of rail infrastructure, poor roads – which heavy rains have now exacerbated – and port inefficiencies.

The short-term challenges are being addressed, and long-term collaboration is planned to address inefficiencies at ports and harbours. Infrastructure improvements will benefit an export-oriented industry already planning production increases.

South Africa’s exports of agricultural products, foods and beverages reached a record US$12.4 billion in 2021, according to Trade Map.

Significant factors underpinning the export performance included sizeable agricultural output in the 2020/21 season, solid global demand, generally higher prices for agricultural commodities and large export volumes.

Maize exports were the highest since 1994-95, while citrus exports reached a new record.