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Regional themes > Agriculture Last update: 2020-11-27  

Competitiveness in the international agricultural industry

National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC)

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Executive Summary

Project objectives

  1. The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) commissioned Promar International to investigate issues concerning international competitiveness in the agricultural sector. The key countries under consideration in this report are:
    • European Union (EU)
    • United States of America (USA)
    • China
    • Japan
    • Australia
    • Brazil

    While the key product sectors under investigation included:

    Beef and livestock
    Goats and goat meat
    Sheep meat: mutton and lamb
    Ostrich meat
    Broiler and egg industry
    Dairy Maize
    Wine Flowers
    Deciduous fruit
    Table grapes
    Macadamia nuts
    Raisins Sugar

    In particular, the research addressed the following issues:
    • level of government support
    • production
    • market trends
    • competitive strategies
    • main suppliers and their respective market shares.

  2. South Africa: Key Exports

  3. In terms of volume (metric tonnes) exported, South Africa's top ten agricultural commodities from the list above are:
    • sugar
    • citrus (total: lemons, oranges, grapefruit)
    • apples
    • wine
    • grapes
    • pears
    • avocado
    • raisins
    • onions

  4. However, while sugar and maize may form key exports for South Africa, the country is not a major player in world trade terms. In sugar, for example, the top six supplying countries account for some 60% of total world exports, while South Africa squeezes into the top ten in tenth place with a 2.5% share of total world exports. In maize, the situation is even more pronounced, with the top 4 players accounting for 91 % of total world exports of maize. South Africa is a relatively insignificant player with only a 1 % share of total world exports, according to FAO statistics.

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