Welcome to the March 2016 issue of the Red Meat Producers Organisation's Newsletter
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Import tariff on maize can have a devastating effect on the livestock industry

Maize consumers and –processors are upset because Grain SA requested the Commission of International Trade Administration to increase the import tariff on maize. A higher import tariff will be to nobody’s benefit, says Prof Johan Willemse of the University of the Free State. 
The latest early estimation by the National Crop Estimation Committee on 27 January this year confirmed that about three million tonne maize will be imported in the coming 12 to 18 months to fulfill in the needs of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia.  Read more ...

Minimum wage for farm workers increased

 In 2015 the Minister of Labour announced a process for the revising of the minimum wage for the next three years in both the agricultural and forestry sectors.  
 â€œDuring the last few months, the Minister also took note of the effect that the drought had in most parts of the country and subsequently consulted with social partners to understand the effect of the drought on the ability of employers to pay higher wages.  An increase in wages has come into effect on 1 March 2016,” said Hendrik Ackermann, Chairman of Agri SA’s Labour and Social Committee in a press release.  Read more ...

Term contracts for beef carcasses on JSE

The JSE’s commodity market for derived instruments now presents term contracts for beef carcasses. 
One contract comprises of 1 000 kg, which makes it possible for smaller role players to also be involved.
The four main hedging months when contracts expires are March, June, September and December. On settlement day, price information as provided by the Red Meat Abattoir Association, will be used.  Read more ...

Service fee on Abattoirs imposed

The South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC) being appointed as assignee, in terms of section 2(3) of the Agricultural Product Standards Act, 1990 (Act No. 119 of 1990), by Government Notice No. 121 of 1998 for the classification and marking of meat, imposed a service fee in respect of abattoirs that participate in these processes (No. R. 55 of 30 January 2015).
These service fees will be valid from 1 January 2016. A service fee of R4,249.12 (VAT excluded) will have to be paid by an abattoir with a high throughput grading, while a service fee of R2,704.39 (VAT excluded) will be paid by an abattoir with a low throughput grading.

Research on Antimicrobial Drugs undertaken

Two undergraduate students at Onderstepoort, Hester and Sabina de Vries, have as part of a small research project supervised by Prof Moritz van Vuuren, compiled an electronic questionnaire dealing with resistance to antimicrobial drugs (AMR).
The questionnaire is not a knowledge test but focuses on awareness and attitude towards AMR. This is a friendly request to farmers to support their research and complete the questionnaire anonymously by clicking on the following link:

Livestock Farming not so profitably anymore

"Livestock is not as profitable anymore as believed to be", is proved in a study undertaken at the University of the Free State under the leadership of Prof Johan Willemse. 
ven more than that, there is not any room for increases in production costs or even taxes, without an increase in producer prices.
Livestock farming has become more difficult over the last number of years and due to the fact that farmers are price takers and have relatively no influence over the producer price or the costs of production, farmers are at the mercy of the macro and micro economic drivers as well as political and governmental influences. The difficulty arises that it is not always possible to simulate political and governmental influences on farm level.  Read more ...

Sideways movement in local beef prices

Internationally, higher beef prices in the US can have an impact on demand, but the expansion in US meat supplies might add pressure on prices. Locally, prices can follow a sideways to upwards trend due to the impact of the drought, according to ABSA Agri Trends.

Domestic Beef prices traded during the week of 12 February as follows: Class A prices were 2.79% higher at R37.58/kg, Class C prices were 2.37% higher at R30.67/kg. The average weaner prices increased to R21.43/kg. The average hide prices was slightly higher over the past week at R14,35/kg green.  Read more ...

Local Mutton prices expected to increase

Internationally, tighter mutton supplies from both New Zealand and Australia and easing production out of China may help reduce supplies, according to ABSA Agri Trends.
Prices remain soft, but are expected to improve as slaughtering numbers are expected to tighten through February in New Zealand and Australia. Locally, mutton prices are expected to increase due to the impact of the drought.  Read more ...

The February 2016 digital version of the Red Meat/Rooivleis magazine availableon

Drought aid for farmers

The multinational company Industrial Commodities Holdings (ICH) of Johannesburg, donated R1 million’s drought aid to farmers who are struggling to survive with their livestock.
Mr Jaco Raath, director of ICH appealed to other companies to also get involved with drought aid.  Article :

ABSA contributes R1-million towards Agri SA’s drought relief efforts 

ABSA, a member of Barclays Africa, has donated R1-million towards Agri SA’s efforts to assist drought-stricken farmers and the communities that depend on farming around the country.
If local farms fail to produce enough food for the country, more food products will have to be imported, increasing the prices of food that consumers have to pay. For this reason, the government and several businesses have contributed funds to disaster relief efforts.
Absa’s donation to Agri SA is part of a multipronged approach to assist drought-stricken communities. Absa has also supported its own staff members in accessing water in water-short communities.

Worst drought in 23 years

The South African Weather Service indicated that South Africa is currently in the grips of the worst drought in 23 years, according to a press release by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).
The last big El Nino weather pattern that affected South Africa so extremely was back in 1992. The current El Nino is worldwide and is estimated to last for several more months.  Read more ...

Tariff on Identification Marks announced

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced a tariff applicable in terms of the Animal Identification Act (Act No. 6 of 2002) on the registration of an animal identification mark in the Government Gazette.
The registration of an animal identification mark will cost R126,00 as from 1 April 2016, while a transfer or regulation will cost R120,00.

Shortage of RVF (Rift Valley Fever) Vaccines

Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) is currently embarking on a Rift Valley Fever (RVF) vaccination awareness campaign and does not have enough stock of RVF vaccines available.
However, OBP encourages farmers to vaccinate. If farmers or vets are struggling in accessing the vaccine they can contact OBP directly.

Drought situation remains a headache

The drought situation is still on everyone’s mind. The winter is around the corner and roughage and food will be a serious problem for stock farmers to not even mention water supply, according to the monthly report on livestock disease trends as informally reported by veterinarians in South Africa.
The following reports were received.   Read more ...


Costs of rearing replacement heifers with different supplements.
Rearing replacement heifers on veld usually requires winter and summer supplementation even though they are generally not mated before the age of 24 months. Due to the time factor and quantity of feed required until they calve down as three-year-olds, the cost of supplementation is something to consider.   Read more ...

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