Bi-Weekly Trade Tracker Issue 5 [August 2020 #5]

Total value increased from the first six month in 2019 to the first six months of 2020 from R65.18 billion to R77.34 billion, resulting in a growth in value of 18.6%. In terms of YoY growth for the period January to June, the biggest contributors have been edible fruits & nuts and cereals, whilst beverage exports were most severely impacted.

The grains section focuses on maize (white and yellow) exports and wheat imports. By considering a three-year average, the current weekly trade as well as the projected volume for 2020, it shows that white maize export volume increased by 77% for the period April - July 2020, when compared to the same period last year. Similarly, yellow maize YoY exports grew by 588%, but are still trailing the exports of April - July of 2018.

The horticultural focus for this trade tracker is on apples and pears. The impact of the pandemic can be observed in shifts in markets - where purchase power and logistics change the direction of shipped product. Most notably, apple volumes to Russia increased tremendously on the back on lower volumes to Africa and Far East & Asia. Volumes to Europe, the UK and the Middle East also increased YTD, compared to 2019. Similar observations apply to pears, although volumes to Europe declined, with exports to Russia increasing when compared to 2019. Other shifts in pear export markets observed are lower volumes to Far East & Asia, USA & Canada and Africa, with increases in pear exports to the Middle East and the UK.

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