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Trade News

Motus reports rise in new-vehicle sales, flags ongoing supply chain constraints

By: Donna Slater     25th January 2022 Automotive group Motus expects to report a 20% to 26% year-on-year improvement in operating profit to between R2.1-billion and R2.2-billion for the six months ended December 31. This translates into a profit before tax increase of between 40% to 50% year-on-year, rising from R1.28-billion for... 

Africa needs to beef up and integrate infrastructure for AfCFTA to have desired impact

By: Donna Slater     21st January 2022 African nations need to establish and/or reinforce their infrastructure to meet the looming implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), a panel of speakers participating in the UK-Africa Investment Conference, on January 20, have said. “For the African free trade area... 

Wine exports make healthy recovery in 2021

By: Donna Slater     19th January 2022 Despite being negatively impacted by a series of local alcohol sales bans, global freight and localised port issues and a shortage of glass and packaging materials, export volumes of South African wine recovered to a healthier volume of 388-million litres, while the total value of local exports... 

Shipping companies had a $150bn year, economists warn they’re also stoking inflation

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2022 Ocean shipping rates are expected to stay elevated well into 2022, setting up another year of booming profits for global cargo carriers – and leaving smaller companies and their customers from Spain to Sri Lanka paying more for just about everything. The spot rate for a 40-foot container to the... 

FedEx says air freight an important part of AfCFTA, Africa's economic growth

By: Schalk Burger     18th January 2022 The rapid change in retail and trade networks caused by the global pandemic has highlighted how logistics, and air logistics in particular, is crucial to the economy. Air express also has a role to play in helping drive economic growth in Africa, says logistics and courier services company FedEx... 

FedEx Express sub-Saharan Africa Operations MD Natasha Parmanand
FedEx Express sub-Saharan Africa Operations MD Natasha Parmanand

CEOs express optimism for resilience in 2022, survey shows

By: Donna Slater     17th January 2022 Respondents to professional services firm PwC’s twenty-fifth yearly Global CEO Survey point to optimism about continued economic resilience this year, albeit with the International Monetary Fund projecting global gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by only 4.9%. Although this forecasted GPD is... 

Tanzania, Burundi sign $900m railway deal to boost trade

By: Bloomberg     17th January 2022 Tanzania and Burundi have signed an agreement to build a $900-million railway that will connect the neighbouring East African nations. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a 282 km line from the western Tanzanian town of Uvinza to Burundi’s capital Gitega. Finance and... 

Pan-African Payment and Settlement System to save $5bn a year in transaction costs

By: Schalk Burger     14th January 2022 The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) platform, established by multilateral finance institution the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, will save Africa more than $5-billion a year in payment transaction costs.... 

November manufacturing output down 0.7% y/y – FNB

By: Donna Slater     12th January 2022 Total manufacturing output (not seasonally adjusted) declined by 0.7% year-on-year in November, after declining by 8.5% year-on-year in October, reports financial services provider FNB. Senior economist Thanda Sithole explains that the slip partly reflects the unfavourable base effects of the... 

Global air cargo demand up 3.7%, capacity down 7.6% for Nov

By: Donna Slater     11th January 2022 The latest global air cargo market data released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) shows slow growth in November, as supply chain disruptions and capacity constraints impacted on demand, despite economic conditions remaining favourable for the sector. The baseline comparison... 

Airlink CEO Rodger Foster admitted to Order of the Southern Cross for Brazil-SA aviation links

By: Schalk Burger     11th January 2022 South African airline Airlink CEO Rodger Foster has been admitted to the Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul (National Order of the Southern Cross) in the class of Commander in recognition of his active and devoted role in strengthening business ties between Brazil and South Africa in the field of... 

Rand facing Covid-19, political risks in 2022 – DG Capital

By: Donna Slater     11th January 2022 Although the rand ended 2021 “on the back foot” at R15.89/$, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 will remain a significant unknown in the financial market for 2022 as it is proving to be more transmissible but less severe than earlier variants, reports financial services solutions company DG Capital... 

US cuts off Ethiopia, Mali, Guinea from Africa duty-free trade programme

By: Reuters     2nd January 2022 The US on Saturday cut Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from access to a duty-free trade program, following through on President Joe Biden's threat to do so over alleged human rights violations and recent coups. "The United States today terminated Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea from the Agoa trade preference... 

Tourism industry welcomes removal of Southern African countries from UK travel red list

By: Donna Slater     15th December 2021 The UK government’s lifting of South Africa’s travel red listing, effective from 04:00 on December 15, has been welcomed by the South African tourism and travel industry, which was severely impacted as both South Africans were put off from traveling to the UK and UK citizens were cautioned... 

Private sector, SMEs crucial for AfCFTA development benefits, primary commodities export bias a problem

By: Schalk Burger     15th December 2021 A survey of more than 400 CEOs from 44 countries in Africa and two outside has reflected the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa. The continent's bias towards the export of primary commodities, however, reduces the relative developmental value that would accrue from... 

Third-quarter Real Economy Bulletin shows auto, iron, platinum export weaknesses

By: Schalk Burger     14th December 2021 While the sharp downturn in the latest gross domestic product (GDP) data is largely the result of the civil unrest in July, the third-quarter GDP data points to additional weaknesses in the economy, above all the sharp decline in automotive exports and plummeting prices of iron-ore and platinum,... 

Salba urges government to use ‘science and logic’ to handle Omicron

By: Donna Slater     14th December 2021 The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has written to the National Coronavirus Command Council expressing concern about the rise in Covid-19 infections and calling on the government to apply a science-based approach and not rush to a “knee-jerk” response as it has in the past.... 

Starbucks South Africa continues nationwide expansion, achieves full vaccination status in ten stores

By: Donna Slater     14th December 2021 Coffee company Starbucks South Africa, after inheriting 13 stores after five years under its previous owners, is continuing its expansion plans throughout the country under the stewardship of its new licensee – Rand Capital Coffee – in December 2019. CEO Adrian Maizey and his team set out plans... 

An image of Starbucks SOuth Africa's Cradlestone outlet
Starbucks South Africa's Cradlestone outlet

Private sector will play key role in AfCFTA industrial development, economic diversification

By: Schalk Burger     10th December 2021 The private sector in Africa will play a critical role in speeding up industrial development and economic diversification, particularly in the context of the ongoing pandemic and other development challenges, as part of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), says logistics company... 

As global steel industry mulls sustainable solutions, SA urged to ‘green’ iron-ore

By: Nadine James     10th December 2021 Producing ‘green steel’ in South Africa might be a distant dream, but exporting ‘green iron-ore’ is achievable in the medium term, says Afriforesight materials engineer and project innovation manager Dr Brandon Davoren. Amid the global trend towards sustainability and in the wake of the... 

Magazine Cover Image

Busa corrects Nxesi on mandatory vaccination declaratory order stance

By: Donna Slater     9th December 2021 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) disputes a December 7 claim by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi that it has approach the Constitutional Court seeking a mandatory vaccination declaratory order. Nxesi claimed during the National Economic Development and Labour Council’s yearly summit... 

Manufacturing business confidence declines marginally on Covid-19, load-shedding

By: Donna Slater     9th December 2021 Facing a second consecutive quarterly decline, Absa’s manufacturing survey finds that, overall, business confidence dipped by three points to 38 during the fourth quarter, thereby effectively resulting in the manufacturing sector facing a “stop-start” recovery.   The bank notes that risks related... 

Tongaat outlines unrest-related cost; reports interim net loss

By: Donna Slater     9th December 2021 JSE-listed sugarcane and maize producer Tongaat Hulett’s operating profit for the six months ended September 30 fell by 23% year-on-year to R1.3-billion. This movement mainly reflects the impact of lower sugar production in the company’s South African operation, increased expenses in Zimbabwe... 

An image of a Tongaat Hulett Sugar Cane Truck
A Tongaat Hulett sugar cane truck

Productivity measures, focus on women, youth, small business can make AfCFTA growth inclusive

By: Schalk Burger     8th December 2021 Fewer than half of African countries recorded inclusive growth in the past 20 years, leaving 34% of households on the continent living below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could spur sustainable and inclusive growth on the... 

Containers at the City Deep terminal in Johannesburg

Minerals Council, SAAFF outline requirements to get Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border congestion resolved

By: Donna Slater     2nd December 2021 With delays at the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post on the Maputo corridor between South Africa and Mozambique having cost trucking companies R1.3-billion in lost revenue this year, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) and the Minerals Council South Africa have requested... 

An image of freight trucks lining up for several kilometres on the N4 towards Komatipoort in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Freight trucks lining up for several kilometres on the N4 towards the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post in South Africa

Opinion: What does AfCFTA mean for South Africa’s importers and exporters?

2nd December 2021 In this opinion article, Standard Bank head of trade Justin Milo and head of product Nompilo Mtshali write about the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for South Africa's importers and exporters. 

Standard Bank head of trade Justin Milo
Standard Bank head of trade Justin Milo

Global trade to increase 23% from 2020 levels – Unctad

By: Donna Slater     30th November 2021 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) forecasts that global trade will reach about $28-trillion this year – an increase of 23% on 2020 levels, after stabilising in the second half of the year. It notes, however, that the outlook for 2022 is “very uncertain”. 

Increased presence for Italian business in S Africa next year

By: Darren Parker     26th November 2021 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industry (Italcham) aims to continue improving its presence in South Africa next year. “We intend to establish an antenna in Cape Town and, possibly, even in Durban and Gqeberha. This means managing multiple hubs with a higher number of events... 

A graphic of interlocking jigsaw puzzles depicting the South African and Italian flags on a backdrop of a map of the world
Photo by Adobe
POSITIVE OUTLOOK The trade situation between South Africa and Italy is looking far more positive for the year ahead

Rigging qualifications awarded to youth

26th November 2021 Last month, Italian energy company Enel Green Power South Africa (EGP RSA) announced that it had decided to help 20 unemployed youngsters from the Raymond Mhlaba district in the Eastern Cape acquire basic rigging skills. Ten young men and ten young women completed a five-day course, which... 

A photo of Nxuba Wind Farm turbines at sunset with a South African flag attached to one of the turbines
NXUBA WIND FARM With Nxuba located in an isolated farm area, Enel aims to have a tangible impact on the lives of local community members

Business interaction fostered

By: Darren Parker     26th November 2021 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industry (Italcham), in collaboration with the Italian Comites Johannesburg and the Italian Consulate General, launched the Small Medium Italian League of Enterprises (SMILE) initiative in Johannesburg last month. SMILE is a network of companies with... 

Components supplied to local platinum smelter

By: Darren Parker     26th November 2021 Foundry and engineering company Thos Begbie has been awarded a major contract to supply 190 t worth of copper pyrometallurgical components to the South African arm of an Italian company for use in a local platinum smelter project. All components supplied by Thos Begbie must be approved through... 

A wide angle photo of a delta section of a furnace
DELTA SECTION Thos Begbie hosted some of the major Italian role-players on its premises, in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, to witness work conducted on a previous project

Ramaphosa calls end to uneven trade between South African and Kenya

By: News24Wire      23rd November 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to see a greater balance of trade between South Africa and Kenya, as the two countries pledged to foster improved economic relations. Speaking at a Business Forum between the two countries during Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta's state visit in Pretoria, Ramaphosa said... 

Regional value chains across Africa can link markets and drive industrialisation - Patel 

By: Schalk Burger     23rd November 2021 The development of regional value chains across Africa presents an opportunity to create market linkages between regions, integrate critical supply chains and replace some products that currently being imported from outside of the continent, said Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim... 

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel
Photo by Creamer Media
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

DTIC to host trade, investment business forum with Kenya

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd November 2021 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) will host the South Africa-Kenya Trade and Investment Business Forum on November 23. The forum is aimed at increasing and diversifying levels of bilateral trade and investment between the two countries and will take place at the Council for... 

Afreximbank says improved education needed to tackle Africa's IP challenge

By: Schalk Burger     19th November 2021 During this week's intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), multilateral financial institution African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) director and global head for trade finance Gwen Mwaba suggested that improved education was needed to address the intellectual property (IP) challenge in Africa. “Africa... 

DTIC pledges action to ramp up operations at OR Tambo SEZ

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th November 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola has committed to facilitating strong cooperation between all three tiers of government to fast-track progress in the operation of the OR Tambo International Airport Special Economic Zone (ORTIA SEZ).   Majola visited the SEZ on... 

US intent on forging closer ties with Africa, Blinken says

By: Bloomberg     19th November 2021 President Joe Biden’s top envoy signaled the US’s intent to revitalize its long-neglected relations with Africa, where it has steadily been losing influence to China and other global powers. “Too many times, the countries of Africa have been treated as junior partners –- or worse –- rather than... 

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