The latest performance review of South Africa’s agricultural sector – undertaken by Agri SA – provides some encouraging news in an otherwise fairly bleak economic environment.
Looking at 2020 figures compared to 2019, agricultural exports jumped by 18.1% while imports also grew by 6%, respectively in value terms. The Netherlands was the main export destination and Thailand the main supplier of agricultural products to SA.
Among the top 10 destination markets, exports declined to Namibia (-4.5%) and Botswana (-2.2%), while exports to Zimbabwe increased by a whopping 158.4%. The main export bag to our northern neighbour ranged from cereals and milling industry products to animal and vegetable fats and oils.
On the whole, the leading products exported were edible fruits and nuts, while cereals recorded the highest growth rate of 98.3% for the year, coinciding with SA’s second-largest maize production.
Animal or vegetable oils, fats and waxes imports saw the highest growth rate, coming in at 28.3%.