SA on track for moderate food-price inflation, say analysts
Early indications are that agriculture exports will be strong
As winter cereal planting gets under way, early indications are that SA is on track for moderate food-price inflation and strong agricultural exports. The relief provided to consumers recently through falling food prices has been put at risk by the drought in the Western Cape, a weakening rand, rising fuel costs and the prospect of a global trade war. But analysts said consumers and farmers had reasons to be optimistic. In March, SA recorded the lowest inflation rate since February 2011 at 3.8%, mostly due to lower prices of food, though this is expected to be at the bottom of the current cycle. May is the start of the winter planting season, with indications that Western Cape farmers were betting on the forecasts of improved rainfall, said Wandile Sihlobo, an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber. Early indications were that wheat planting would increase 2% in 2018, driven largely by increased planting in other provinces. Maiz...