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Trade News

Massmart’s sales decrease year-on-year

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 7 hours ago JSE-listed Massmart’s sales for the 52 weeks ended December 27 amounted to R86.5-billion, representing a decrease of 7.7% over the same period in 2019, while comparable store sales decreased by 7.5% year-on-year. Sales in the group’s South African stores decreased by 7.9% (comparable stores... 

Unctad updates principles to promote biodiversity-friendly trade

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     Updated 7 hours ago Intergovernmental body the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has launched its updated BioTrade Principles and Criteria, a set of guidelines for governments and companies to conduct biodiversity-friendly trade. The term “BioTrade” refers to the supply and... 

Chrome market could change with new export tax regime, dissuading Chinese offtake 

By: Donna Slater     20th January 2021 A “delicate” balancing act between chrome ore mining and stainless steel production may be under threat as South Africa changes its export tax regime to boost the commodity’s “welfare benefits” and to favour local chrome buyers instead of foreign buyers, Simon le Roux, a student at Rhodes... 

The UK has deregulated citrus imports, including from South Africa 

By: Rebecca Campbell     20th January 2021 With the UK’s departure from the European Union’s (EU’s) single market and customs union at the start of this year, London has deregulated, among other commodities, citrus fruit and leaf imports. The UK is a major market for South Africa’s citrus sector, reportedly taking 9.5% of the country’s... 

The UK has deregulated citrus imports, including from South Africa
Photo by Sappi
Oranges packed for export 

AMSP opens Covid-19 vaccines pre-orders for AU member States

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th January 2021 Following the announcement by African Union (AU) chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 14 that the AU has secured a provisional 270-million Covid-19 vaccine doses for Africa through its Covid-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (Avatt), the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP)... 

AfCFTA to aid Africa’s recovery from Covid, but full-scale implementation to be challenging

By: Nadine James     15th January 2021 The advent of duty-free trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has come at a “critical time for the global economy” and will ultimately boost sustainable post-Covid-19 economic recovery for the African continent, AfCFTA Secretariat SG Wamkele Mene said during his address at... 

AfCFTA to aid Africa’s recovery from Covid, but full-scale implementation to be challenging

Awareness grows for atmospheric bottled water

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     15th January 2021 Consumers being more cautious about the purification of drinking water has resulted in growing awareness of atmospheric water generation technology company Aqua Air Africa’s atmospheric bottled water, says Aqua Air CEO Keamogetswe Matsho. The company’s atmospheric water generating technology... 

USTDA partners with TDB to strengthen infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th January 2021 The US Trade and Development Agency has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) to bring infrastructure solutions to sub-Saharan Africa. The MoU outlines areas of mutual cooperation in the agribusiness, energy, healthcare,... 

Committee welcomes measures to ease congestion at borders, suggests alternative

By: Simone Liedtke     13th January 2021 The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs is of the view that the implementation of a “one-stop border post” with neighboring countries and the establishment of the Border Management Authority (BMA) will be a solution to the challenges experienced at Beitbridge, between South Africa and Zimbabwe.... 

Extended alcohol ban detrimental for small craft brewers

By: Donna Slater     12th January 2021 The Beer Association of South Africa (Basa), in rejecting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s January 11 announcement on the extension of a blanket alcohol ban, says such a move will be a “death knell” for many small craft brewers as they will “simply not survive” the extended prohibition. Basa reports... 

African free trade tariff rules should be completed by July - official

By: Reuters     11th January 2021 Members of Africa's new free trade area should complete their tariff reduction schedules and finalise essential rules of origin by July, a senior official with the bloc's secretariat said on Monday. African countries began officially trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)... 

Construction to start on Liberia Inland Storage Facility

By: Donna Slater     7th January 2021 Infrastructure project funder InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), and Global Logistics Services (GLS) have signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Liberian contractor BMC Group to build the Liberia Inland Storage Facility... 

Business confidence falls as fears over stricter lockdown regulations rise 

By: Donna Slater     6th January 2021 Business confidence took a beating in December as companies became increasingly concerned that an increase in Covid-19 cases could result in more strict lockdown regulations being implemented, says information and insight provider IHS Markit economist David Owen. Commenting on the company's... 

Business confidence falls as fears over stricter lockdown regulations rise

ECA urges Africa’s private, public sectors to cooperate for success of AfCFTA

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th January 2021 For the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to deliver on its promises, the private and public sectors on the continent must work together, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) executive secretary Vera Songwe has said. At the virtual launch of trading on the AfCFTA on January 1, Songwe... 

African Free Trade Area kicks off, but with reminders of major obstacles at borders

By: News24Wire      4th January 2021 It was by coincidence rather than design that the African market got bigger on the same day that Europe shrunk. Britain exited the EU on the first day of this year, just as African countries started trading under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. This agreement is set to create a... 

African Free Trade Area kicks off, but with reminders of major obstacles at borders

Brexit talks head for their climax with a fight over fishing

By: Bloomberg     17th December 2020 The UK and European Union (EU) are heading for a final battle over fishing rights as trade talks reach a climax, with officials cautiously predicting a deal within days. The pound climbed against the dollar on Wednesday amid optimism that the focus on fish is a sign the two sides have largely... 

UK announces that the second Africa Investment Conference will happen in January

By: Rebecca Campbell     11th December 2020 The UK Department of International trade has announced that it will host the second UK-Africa Investment Conference early next year. The conference will be a one-day virtual event and will be held on January 20.  The first UK-Africa Investment Conference was held in January this year. It was... 

AfDB identifies agriculture as one that needs particular support

By: Simone Liedtke     11th December 2020 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has identified the agriculture sector as an area that needs particular support, and as an area of opportunity going forward to increase inter-regional integration and to increase resilience against external shocks. Speaking during a news conference on the... 

Seifsa lauds AfCFTA as January commencement nears

By: Donna Slater     10th December 2020 In a move likely to boost inter-African trade, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has welcomed the December 9 confirmation that trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will commence from January 1, 2021. The AfCFTA journey... 

Indaba panel unpacks challenges to Africa’s industrialisation agenda  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th December 2020 The African export basket continues to lack manufactured products and is overly-reliant on raw materials and in cases, a single commodity; as a result, African countries continue to be affected by commodity volatility and to experience high inequality. Speaking during the Manufacturing Indaba on... 

Indaba panel unpacks challenges to Africa’s industrialisation agenda
SAEEC, WEF discuss industrialisation challenges in Africa

Construction of jewellery manufacturing hub nears completion

By: Donna Slater     8th December 2020 Raubex Building is nearing completion of a high-security block in the Jewellery Manufacturing Precinct (JMP) close to OR Tambo International Airport, east of Johannesburg. The Covid-19 national lockdown brought the project to a halt for most of April, in line with regulations. Raubex Building,... 

Construction of jewellery manufacturing hub nears completion
The north west corner of the superblock where one of the logistics companies' security yard is located

WEF yearly summit to be held in Singapore in May

By: Donna Slater     8th December 2020 The World Economic Forum (WEF) will convene its 2021 Special Annual Meeting in Singapore from May 13 to 16; and return to Davos-Klosters, in Switzerland, for the 2022 edition. The change in location reflects the forum’s priority of safeguarding the health and safety of participants and the host... 

South Africa exports R1.6bn of hand sanitiser into Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th December 2020 Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel says South Africa had exported in excess of R1.6-billion worth of hand sanitiser during the last six months. The Minister on December 7 discussed the figures of these exports, stating that between June and November this year, permits for... 

South Africa exports R1.6bn of hand sanitiser into Africa

Draft one-stop border-post policy to be released for public comment in early 2021 

By: Terence Creamer     4th December 2020 Government will release its draft one-stop border post policy for public comment during the first quarter of 2021, after Cabinet approved the draft policy during its meeting this week. In a statement, Cabinet said that the OSBP policy would give effect to the framework adopted in 2018. The policy... 

Draft one-stop border-post policy to be released for public comment in early 2021

Sugar master plan signed and good to go

4th December 2020 The virtual signing of the much-anticipated Sugarcane Value Chain Master Plan 2030 has been welcomed by all stakeholders of the South African sugar industry, according to a statement issued by the South African Sugar Association (Sasa) last month. “This is a momentous occasion for the industry... 

Sugar master plan signed and good to go
Photo by Creamer Media
SWEET DEAL Local sugar producers will be supported and given greater preference through the newly minted sugar master plan

New female vice chairperson for sugar association

4th December 2020 The South African Farmers Development Association (Safda) said in statement issued last month that it “welcomes and congratulates” the appointment of new South African Sugar Association (Sasa) vice chairperson Joanmariae Fubbs. Fubbs was nominated by Safda and voted in at a special meeting of... 

Business restructuring anchors producer as sugar master plan gives hope

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 The business restructuring efforts of sugar producer Tongaat Hulett over the past few years have enabled it to enter the Covid-19 outbreak as a “leaner, fit-for-purpose organisation” better able to weather the pandemic, says Tongaat Hulett sugar operations MD Simon Harvey. “The Covid-19 pandemic... 

Business restructuring anchors producer as sugar master plan  gives hope
A NEW HORIZON The sugar master plan seeks to create a diversified and globally competitive, sustainable and transformed sugarcane-based value chain

Tough times ahead despite better yields

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 Data gathered by the South African Canegrowers Association (SA Canegrowers) indicate that sugar cane crop yields in the current season are expected to be an improvement on those of the past year, owing to “perfect” to weather to date. Moreover, canegrowers have also put much effort into... 

Tough times ahead despite better yields
ABUNDANT HARVEST A large yield and constrained sugar milling capacity means that some sugar cane will not be processed this year

Rail link planned for small-scale cane growers

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett is partnering with the South African Farmers Development Association, and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to establish a sugar cane rail transport system, in KwaZulu-Natal, between Makhathini cane growers in northern Zululand and... 

Rail link planned for small-scale cane growers
LOWERED HAULAGE COSTS The project will result in a 50% reduction in transportation costs for growers

Digital agriculture to assist sugar growers

By: Darren Parker     4th December 2020 The South African Sugar Research Institute (Sasri), a division of the South African Sugar Association (Sasa), is focusing its research and technological development on digital agriculture to support canegrowers in decision-making, in their choice of cane varieties, to establish more accurate crop... 

Digital agriculture to assist sugar growers
PESKY PROBLEM The Eldana saccharina larvae bore into sugar cane and can ruin entire crops

Localisation supermarket to showcase products

By: Halima Frost     4th December 2020 Automotive Industry Development Centre Eastern Cape (AIDC EC) business development manager Hoosain Mahomed says the AIDC EC is embarking on Phase 2 of its localisation supermarket. The localisation supermarket is a physical showcase and online catalogue of automotive components that are imported,... 

Localisation supermarket  to showcase products
LAID OUT The products on offer thought the Locatisation Supermarket are available to view on an online portal available at the AIDC EC's website

Africa poised to benefit from strong European backing in its recovery  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th November 2020 Despite this year having been the worst year of growth for the global economy in the past 40 years, and with sub-Saharan Africa facing its first recession in 25 years with a 3.1% gross domestic product (GDP) contraction expected, there remains a strong case for a rebound, as international... 

Indaba aims to encourage sector growth

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 Revitalising and growing manufacturers is the theme of this year’s Manufacturing Indaba, which aims to get the South African manufacturing industry stakeholders together to unpack the way forward towards growing their businesses. This year’s event was originally slated to take place on June 9 and... 

Indaba aims to  encourage sector growth
THIS TIME IT’S VIRTUAL This year’s Manufacturing Indaba will be entirely virtual and, therefore, free to attend

What the end of the UK–EU transition period means for UK–SA trade

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th November 2020 With effect from January 1 this year, the UK left the European Union (EU). But that day also inaugurated the start of a transition period, during which the UK remained part of the EU customs union and single market. That transition period ends on December 31 and thereafter the UK is free to... 

What the end of the UK–EU transition period means for UK–SA trade

Counterfeit goods a costly threat to sector

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 An influx of inferior-quality competitive electrical connector products into South Africa is a threat to the local manufacturing industry, owing to their unreliability, says electrical connector supplier Alexander and Poole area manager Juanita Fisher-Hill. “The greatest offenders are companies... 

Counterfeit goods a costly threat to sector
JUANITA FISHER-HILL Counterfeit parts neither carry a warranty or guarantee nor do they contain any of the inherent safety features

AfCFTA to provide business opportunities for African countries

By: Yvonne Silaule     26th November 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) will provide business opportunities that will enable African countries to lift citizens of the continent out of poverty post Covid-19, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Trade and Invest Africa chief director John Rocha has... 

Johannesburg, Cairo and Cape Town top African performers in competitiveness report

By: Donna Slater     26th November 2020 Of the 13 African cities included in management consulting firm Kearney’s recently released yearly Global Cities report, Johannesburg had the highest ranking, at number 55. The report provides an analysis of the ranked global cities index (GCI) which uses a multitude of metrics to ascertain city... 

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