Export dive hits Q2 Agribusiness confidence index


South Africa’s Agribusiness Confidence Index had dropped two points to 44 as exports took a dive in the second quarter of 2019, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) said today.

Following a minor improvement in the first quarter, the index had remained below the neutral 50-point mark, emulating the country’s downbeat business conditions, said Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo.

The index level is determined by 10 sub-indices, seven of which declined.

Export volumes had shown the biggest drop by 21 to 36 index points in the second quarter of 2019 regardless of the $660 million agricultural trade surplus in the first quarter, said Sihlobo.

“[It] generally mirrors the expected reduction in agricultural output on the back of unfavourable weather conditions, and also reduced wool and other animal-based exports to China over the past couple of weeks.”

Agribusiness market share fell seven points to 56 due to lower output.

Employment fell six points to 48 – the lowest level since the third quarter of 2015.

According to Sihlobo, this is not surprising given the 13.2% reduction in SA’s agricultural economy. 


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