Drought-hit agriculture sector contracts at slower pace in third quarter
The agricultural sector contracted at the much slower rate in the third quarter, supporting an outlook for a relatively brighter 2017 summer growing season, following the crippling drought. Food inflation has reached double digits because of the lag effect caused by lower production during the drought, compounded by a weaker rand earlier in the year. White maize for December delivery peaked at R5,226/tonne before easing to current levels of R4,005/tonne. Yellow maize for December delivery peaked at R3,954/tonne before easing to R3,220/tonne. Agriculture contracted 0.3% in the three months to September, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of decline, according to Statistics SA’s data. "These results come as no surprise as the sector continues to suffer the effects of the 2015-16 El Niño induced drought," said Wandile Sihlobo, head of economic and agribusiness intelligence at the Agricultural Business Chamber. "Overall, the significant shock came from summer crops, particularly gr...
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