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Kwanalu

The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Oekraïense krisis: Regering moet brandstofheffing opskort om druk op voedselpryse te verlig | Ukraine crisis: Government must suspend fuel levies to relieve pressure on food prices

English to follow:

14 Maart 2022

Agri SA se navorsing en ontleding dui daarop dat die Oekraïne-Rusland-krisis ’n ernstige uitwerking op voedselsekerheid in Suid-Afrika sal hê en dat dit ’n wesentlike risiko vir dele van die landbousektor inhou.

Met globale koringpryse en landbou-insetkoste wat astronomies styg, moet die regering dringend stappe neem om die brandstofheffing op te skort ten einde verligting te bring vir boere, veral die nasie se kleinskaalse boere. Dit kan help om ook voedselpryse vir Suid-Afrikaanse verbruikers in toom te hou.

Suid-Afrika se handel met Oekraïne het geweldig toegeneem oor die afgelope dekade. Tussen 2016 en 2020 het Suid-Afrika se landbou-uitvoer na Oekraïne meer as verdubbel – vanaf R76,5 miljoen in 2016 tot R155 miljoen in 2020. Landbou-invoer, wat redelik stabiel gebly het, het in 2020 sowat R390 miljoen beloop.

Oekraïne sowel as Rusland is belangrike koringprodusente vir die wêreldmark en verantwoordelik vir ’n kwart van globale koringuitvoer. Onderbreking van die voorraadketting van dié stapelvoedsel sal wêreldwyd voedselprysskokke veroorsaak, veral in Suid-Afrika, wat 30% van die land se totale koring van hierdie lande invoer.

Rusland is ook die wêreld se voorste verskaffer van kunsmis. Onlangse data dui daarop dat globale kunsmispryse geweldig gestyg het tussen Januarie 2021 en Januarie 2022. Plaaslike kunsmispryse het verdubbel, terwyl globale kunsmispryse vervierdubbel het. Boere was dus reeds onder druk voor die huidige krisis. Die Russiese inval van die Oekraïne het bloot dié druk vererger.

Brent-ruoliepryse het ook nagenoeg verdriedubbel tussen Februarie en Maart 2022. Met die onlangse, sowel as verwagte styging in brandstofpryse, sal die vervoerkoste om voedsel by Suid-Afrikaanse verbruikers te kry geweldig toeneem oor die volgende paar maande – tensy die regering stappe neem om dit te vermy.

Dit is die rede waarom Agri SA ’n beroep doen op die regering om gedurende hierdie krisis brandstofheffings op te skort ten einde ’n toename in voedselpryse te vermy. Versuim om op te tree, sal bloot die kostedruk op verbruikers vererger en sodoende voedselsekerheid in Suid-Afrika in gevaar stel, veral vir die mees kwesbare gemeenskappe.

Tesame met verbruikers, sal die opskorting van brandstofheffings beskerming bied aan kwesbare kleinskaalse boere teen toenames in insetkoste en teen die verwagte aanslag op landbou-inkomste vanaf Rusland en Oekraïne.

Landboukommoditeite is verantwoordelik vir meer as die helfte van alle Suid-Afrikaanse uitvoer na Oekraïne, meestal vrugte en neute. Dit sal waarskynlik ’n geweldige uitwerking op die prestasie van sommige bedrywe in die eerste kwartaal van 2022 hê. Sitrusprodukte beslaan die grootste gedeelte van uitvoer na Oekraïne en is geraam op R133,7 miljoen in 2020.

Blokkering van uitvoer na Rusland sal ook ’n nadelige uitwerking op Suid-Afrika se beduidende handel in landbou-kommoditeite met daardie land hê. Suid-Afrika se uitvoer na Rusland beloop meer as dubbel sy landbou-invoer. Landbou-invoer het stabiel gebly op ongeveer R2 miljard tussen 2016 tot 2020, terwyl uitvoer vanaf R2,1 miljard in 2016 tot R4 miljard in 2020 toegeneem het.

Die Oekraïne-Rusland-konflik hou dus beduidende gevolge in vir die prestasie van Suid-Afrika se landbousektor. Die regering moet dringend stappe neem om die vernietigende gevolge van hierdie verlore inkomste op die land se boere te versag; byvoorbeeld deur marktoegang te bewerkstellig sodat produkte wat bestem is vir Oekraïne, elders versend kan word. Elke dag wat die regering versuim om op te tree, hou ’n risiko in vir broodnodige werkgeleenthede in die sektor.

Agri SA sal alles in sy vermoë doen om met die regering en bedryfsbelanghebbendes oor die waardeketting heen te skakel, sodat ons gesamentlik kan verseker dat Suid-Afrikaners toegang het tot genoegsame voedsel in dié onsekere en moeilike ekonomiese tye.

 Navrae

Kulani Siweya

Agri SA Landbou-ekonoom

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14 March 2022

 Agri SA’s research and analysis has revealed that that the Ukraine-Russia crisis will have a serious impact on South Africa’s food security and poses very real risks to parts of the agricultural sector.

With global wheat prices and agricultural input costs skyrocketing, government must take urgent action and suspend the fuel levies to provide relief for farmers, especially the nation’s small-scale farmers, and contain food prices for South African consumers.

South Africa’s trade with the Ukraine has increased substantially over the last decade. Between 2016 and 2020, South Africa’s agricultural exports to Ukraine more than doubled from R76,5 million in 2016 to R155 million in 2020. Agricultural imports have remained relatively stable, sitting at R390 million in 2020.

Ukraine and Russia are both major producers of wheat on the global market, accounting for a quarter of global wheat exports, and the disruption to the supply of this staple food will cause food price shocks globally, particularly in South Africa given that we import 30% of our total wheat from these nations.

Moreover, Russia is the leading supplier of fertiliser globally. Recent data shows that global fertiliser prices had already risen substantially between January 2021 and January 2022. Local fertiliser prices doubled while global prices quadrupled. Farmers were therefore already under pressure prior to the current crisis. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only worsened this pressure.

Brent crude oil prices have also almost tripled between February and March 2022. With the recent and still expected fuel price increases, the cost of taking food to South African consumers will rise substantially in the coming months unless government acts to contain them.

This is why Agri SA is calling on government to suspend fuel levies while the Ukraine-Russia crisis persists in order to contain food prices. Failure to act can only exacerbate the pricing pressure on consumers, compromising food security in South Africa, especially for the most vulnerable in society.

In addition to consumers, the suspension of the fuel levies will also buttress vulnerable small-scale farmers from the increases in input costs, and from the expected hit to agricultural revenue from Ukraine and Russia.

 

Agricultural commodities make up more than half of all South African exports to Ukraine, the biggest of these being fruits and nuts. Parts of the sector are therefore likely to see a significant impact on their performance in the first quarter of 2022. Citrus in particular forms the majority of exports to Ukraine valued at an estimated R133,7 million in 2020.

 

Blockages of exports to Russia will also knock South Africa’s significant trade in agricultural commodities with that country. South Africa’s agricultural exports to Russia are more than double agricultural imports. Agricultural imports remained stable around R2 billion from 2016 to 2020 while exports grew from R2,1 billion in 2016 to R4 billion in 2020.

 

The Ukraine-Russia conflict will therefore have substantial consequences for South Africa’s agricultural sector performance, and government must take action to mitigate the devastating impact of this lost revenue on the nation’s farmers by assisting with measures such as opening up market access so that products destined for Ukraine can be redirected. Every day this action is delayed puts much needed jobs in the sector at risk.

 

Agri SA will make every effort to engage government and industry stakeholders throughout the value chain to ensure that, together, we can keep South Africans adequately supplied with food in these uncertain and difficult economic times.

 

Enquiries:

Kulani Siweya

Agri SA Agricultural economist