The agribusiness team at Absa will tomorrow (December 7, 2016) present its forecast for the agricultural industry for 2017 at a roundtable at Leriba Lodge in Centurion. The presentation will start at 2pm.

Apart from the media the roundtable will also be attended by other key agricultural stakeholders, and will address some of the topical industry issues and key trends expected in 2017. The outlook will be presented by Absa’s AgriBusiness team of Ernst Janovsky, Senior Agricultural Economist; Wessel Lemmer, Senior Agricultural Economist, and Karabo Takadi, Agricultural Economist.

The roundtable will discuss, among others, current industry trends to consider; economic outlook; game industry outlook; outlook for grains and livestock as well as some Africa trends.

Current trends to consider: will focus largely on weather patterns, land prices and technology, among others.

  • Weather patterns: the key focus will be on the drought conditions and the broader impact on farmers, consumers and the national economy.
  • Land prices: Land prices are expected to remain softer because of the effects of the ongoing drought and the policy environment, which create uncertainty and are not favourable for investments in the long-term. Land is a long-term investment.
  • Technology:  This will look at technological changes and how these will impact various aspects of the agricultural industry, including education, jobs and marketing etc. It will also explore how companies should be responding to some of these changes.

Economic outlook: the exchange rate outlook will continue to be a key feature, especially how it will affect the price of commodities and livestock products. The exchange rate is expected to have a much greater impact on food inflation than the drought. A weaker exchange rate will drive commodity and livestock products prices higher. The beneficiaries of a weaker rand will largely be export industries, such as horticulture and livestock products (poultry, beef, mutton and game).

Game industry outlook: This will be the second time that the game industry will be analysed in depth by means of an Absa Game Prices Index, and surprising trends can be expected. This index, the first index of its kind to track game prices, is published every six month.

Africa trends: the continent remains an important investment opportunity, especially in the context of long-term global food security concerns. The strong regional demand for grains is expected to support our prices.