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SA’s agriculture was the only shining light in the second quarter of this year. The sector’s gross value-added expanded by 15.1% quarter on quarter on a seasonally adjusted and annualised basis, following an expansion of 27.8% quarter on quarter in the first quarter. This is, in part, because the sector was classified as essential and didn’t close down during the strict lockdown period, the effect of which extended to the second quarter.

Most importantly, it is due to this being a recovery year in agricultural output across all subsectors (field crops, horticulture and livestock) following prolonged periods of drought, and a surge in exports (supported by the weak exchange rate). These were also the key drivers of the expansion in the first quarter of the year...

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