News

Landbouweekblad article - Appeal Board stop inspection rates for grain and oil seeds

AN NOTICE OF INSPECTION RATES for the grains Leaf Oilseeds Industry Services last year in the Government Gazette announced, was set aside by an appeals board from the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development.

Published: 12/01/2022

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Agbiz Grain media statement

Agbiz Grain media statement - Introduction of inspection services on grains and oilseeds halted

Published: 13/12/2021

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Industry bids JSE head farewell

Dr Raphael Karuaihe, head of commodities at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and a well-known figure in the agricultural sector, will be leaving the company at the end of 2021. This follows a career at the JSE that spanned almost ten years. Dr Karuaihe has been appointed as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Agricultural Bank of Namibia.
During an interview with RSG Landbou, he said that he is looking forward to his new position and new challenges that await at the Agricultural Bank of Namibia. This institution is a stateowned enterprise equivalent to the Land Bank in South Africa. He will, however, not disappear from the South African scene – in his new position he will be exploring joint programmes to accomplish expansion in African trade. He believes that Agbiz Grain members can play an important part on the other side of South Africa’s borders. – Ursula Human, Agbiz Grain Quarterly

Published: 08/12/2021

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Agbiz Grain Code of Practice anticipated

Self-regulation is a key focus of the grain industry, and the objective of the development of the Agbiz Grain Code of Practice is to support this self-regulation. The industrywill be guided by outlines for minimum requirements of all involved in the grain handling and storage sector. This Code will be continuously reviewed with input from Agbiz Grain storage and associate members, to ensure that its integrity is maintained. 
In adopting this Code, all participants accept that they will be individually responsible for implementing the necessary systems, procedures and processes to achieve the purpose of the Code. Adoption of this Code will provide all industry sectors, including governments, researchers and consumers with confidence that processes exist in South Africa to successfully ensure effective assessment, classification, storage and transport of grain, to promote the local industry and its grain in support of market access, and to supply grain that meets market expectations. – Agbiz Grain

Published: 08/12/2021

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PPECB requests BEE certificates to determine industry compliance

The Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) has clarified that their request for exporters to submit their broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) certificate serves to determine the level of compliance of the sector as a whole. The PPECB confirmed that it will not be evaluating the level of compliance of individual entities, nor does it dictate that clients maintain a specific B-BBEE level before the PPECB will render a service. 
According to Tina-Louise Rabie, marketing and communications manager of the PPECB, “the PPECB does not currently require its clients to be B-BBEE registered or that they achieve a specific B-BBEE rating. 
Furthermore, the PPECB will not suspend or withhold services from its clients who are not B-BBEE compliant. Therefore, companies that do not comply can still export at this stage.” For more information, clients of PPECB are welcome to contact Rabie at email Tina-LouiseR@ppecb.com. – Ursula Human, AgriOrbit

Published: 08/12/2021

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Agbiz Grain gains first associate member

Agbiz Grain received its first applications for associate membership from Agri Enviro Solutions (AES) and Santam Agriculture to become the first associated members to join Agbiz Grain. Previously, members hailed mainly from the grain and/or oilseeds storage services, whereas AES supplies laboratory instruments and services to the grain industry. Santam Agriculture offers insurance services to the grain storage sector. 
This category of membership presents associate members with a number of benefits, such as the opportunity to be regarded as reputable service providers or suppliers to the industry. Agbiz Grain also serves as a platform where service providers and suppliers can relate to the users of their product as associate members. 
Associate members can join a technical committee in their field of expertise and indirectly exercise influence on decisions in the industry. Members will also be invited to assist with their expertise during workshops. There are also several promotional benefits to companies that join Agbiz Grain. – Ursula Human, Plaas Media

Published: 08/12/2021

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Cultivars need to be made known

In the Western Cape, the winter grain harvest process (wheat, barley and oats) is well on its way. Other winter grain production areas will soon follow suit. It is the responsibility of the South African Cultivar and Technology Agency (SACTA) to administer the statutory levy for breeding and technology. In order to divide the levy between the seed companies according to their market share, a formula is used of which one input is production declaration. SACTA therefore requests grain handlers, grain storers or grain traders that buy or store grains, to enquire from producers which cultivars are being delivered. This information will later be requested by SACTA. – Press release, SACTA

Published: 08/12/2021

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Agbiz Grain identifies research areas

Agbiz Grain, in collaboration with members and other role-players, has identified research areas that are necessary for the grain and oilseeds industry. The following research needs were identified: The storage capability of malting barley cultivars; the storage capability of maize cultivars; germination capacity and germination energy; pest control in stored grain; pre-harvest management practices affecting germination capacity and germination energy of malting barley; and optimised storage practices with available infrastructure. Agbiz Grain invites interested parties to become involved in any of the aforementioned initiatives and to contact the office for more information. – Press release, Agbiz Grain

Published: 30/11/2021

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Grain storage mergers likely in Australia

The market for country grain storage in eastern Australia is massively over-supplied, with the big four handlers – GrainCorp, Grainflow (Cargill), Emerald (Sumitomo) and AGS (Ricegowers) – having over 27 million tons (Mt) of storage capacity. On-farm storage and smaller private operators have probably a similar amount. This 50Mt plus of storage capacity is dwarfing average annual winter and summer grain production in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria with about 25Mt. Competition is intense and it is possible that mergers and acquisitions will occur in future. GrainCorp has been unsuccessfully targeted recently by Archer Daniels Midland and Long-Term Asset Partners. Sumitomo is rumoured to have sought bids for Emerald. There is also a number of smaller private storage operators in southeast Australia on the market. – Grain Central

Published: 30/11/2021

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GSCI should be adopted by JSE

The Grain Storage Cost Index (GSCI) developed by the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) can potentially meet the requirements to update the annual change in the JSE storage rates. However, the GSCI is published only once a year. An understanding is needed of how the annual publication of the GSCI will compare with the storage rate adjustments of the JSE which are done at the start of each marketing year. 
Agbiz Grain is of the opinion that the producer price index (PPI) is not a true representation of the costs incurred, and hence secured the services of the BER to determine whether there is another method or better index to use. Following a submission of their findings by the BER economist, Nicolaas van der Wath, it was concluded that the difference in values, when using PPI or the customised GSCI from BER, is statistically less significant over the long term, rendering the adoption of the GSCI by industry participants likely. 
The greatest benefit of using the GSCI is that it is less volatile from year to year as opposed to the PPI, which is a cumulative monthly figure. Therefore, Agbiz Grain is promoting the adoption of the GSCI among the JSE and industry participants. The GSCI will reflect the year-on-year change in the storage costs which will be less volatile, and to the benefit of the total value chain. – Wessel Lemmer, Agbiz Grain

Published: 30/11/2021

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Qualification recommendations made to SAQA

The Quality Council for Trades and Occupation (QCTO) has confirmed that recommendations for the registration of occupational certificates for the positions of grain depot manager and grain grader, among others, have been made to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). It will be registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) under the Occupational Qualifications Sub Framework. The QCTO will inform relevant stakeholders once the qualifications are registered. Training providers need to comply with requirements to offer the qualifications. Agbiz Grain invites interested training providers to register for a planned workshop that will provide clarity on these requirements. – Press release, QCTO

Published: 30/11/2021

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Proposed location differentials with multiple reference points for soya beans

In 2019, the JSE contracted Dr Matthew Roberts to perform a follow-up review of the use of location differentials and provide an independent assessment in this regard. The JSE acknowledged his report and has since held various consultations and workshops to explore how the various recommendations could be implemented. It emanated from the report that continued use of location differentials was critical to a successful commodity derivatives contract in South Africa. 
The JSE was approached by the University of the Free State to be part of an evaluation process for research proposing location differentials for soya beans with multiple reference points. The JSE debated the proposed methodology through interactive workshops providing input that was included in the report. Although some argue in favour of the model to be applied to the South African soya bean derivatives market, and the results be presented for a broader market consultation process, the industry is of opinion that additional proposals such as basis trading should be considered as well. 
The JSE remains open to considering improvements to the current location differential methodology and encourages market participants to take a similar approach. – Memorandum, JSE & Agbiz Grain 

Published: 30/11/2021

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Weekly Producer Deliveries To Be Discontinued?

Members of Agbiz Grain and other market participants submit on a voluntary basis, the weekly producer deliveries at silos.  Agbiz Grain have decided to discontinue the submission of the weekly information in 2022 onwards.

o    Agbiz Grain represents on a 5-year average basis only 67% of the grains and oilseeds in storage.

o    Due to the voluntary nature of the weekly submissions of the weekly producer deliveries to SAGIS the weekly information is not inclusive of the total market.

o    The weekly report is based on the voluntary participation of market participants committed to do so.

Published: 18/08/2021

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Grain Depot Manager Qualification Published For Comments

Kelebogile Malete, Assistant Manager: Qualifications Maintenance from the QCTO (Quality Council for Trades and Occupations) has noted on the 13th of May 2021, that the OC: Grain Depot Manager had gone past internal evaluation and moderation stages. The qualification was on round robin post the Internal Occupational Qualifications Committee (IOQC) sitting. On 23 June 2021, Minah Matloa (Manager: Qualification Development & Compliance from AgriSeta reported to Agbiz Grain that the qualification was approved for QCTO’s internal review committee.  The qualification will now be recommended for registration at SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority).  The qualification was recently published in the Government Gazette for comments and we are waiting for the outcome.

Published: 18/08/2021

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Agbiz Grain Workshop: Definition Of Frost Damage Maize Kernels

The Market Working Group of the Maize Forum Steering Committee proposed a change to the definition of frost damaged maize kernels in the grading regulations.  Agbiz Grain’s Quality Committee opposed the proposed changes to the definition after it became clear that the grading experts on maize in South Africa who conduct training and who are handling disputes on behalf of members in the value chain are in disagreement.  Not only on the current definition but also on the new proposed definition.  Consequently, Agbiz Grain organized a workshop on Tuesday 29th of June in order for the experts to reach agreement and to finalise an acceptable definition to be tabled to the Market Working Group of the Maize Forum Steering Committee. A new definition was agreed upon and submitted for publication in the Government Gazette

Published: 01/08/2021

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SAGL Dataset Can Improve

Agbiz Grain has identified the need to clean the SAGL’s dataset.  The clean dataset will ensure the accessibility of usable data.  The wheat and sorghum industries are unable to contribute to the cleaning of the SAGL database due to the present financial constraints in these two industries.  The SAGL made a formal presentation to the Maize Forum Steering Committee regarding the cleaning of its database, although this is not deemed to be a high priority at present.  The request was not supported.

Published: 30/07/2021

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Reporting Of Monthly Stock Levels By SAGIS

The Maize Forum Steering Committee (MFSC) recommend that SAGIS is to be requested to report monthly stock levels per grade in future, without verification of the grades, and it is recommended that the Maize Trust accept the quotation for the initial software changes to be made by SAGIS. The MFSC agreed to have this done monthly and to accept the quotation (approximately R186 000 once off).  Note: Agbiz Grain requested in meetings with SAGIS, SACOTA and Grain SA that the reporting of monthly stock levels should be inclusive or all roleplayers in the market and only reported at national level.

Published: 15/07/2021

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Storage Protocol For Malting Barley

The competitiveness in the storage of malting barley may unintentionally be impacted negatively by the dominant position of a single large scale buyer of malting barley in the local industry and the unfavorable risk to reward ratio experienced by suppliers.  Consequently, Agbiz Grain acquired a legal opinion how to solution the problem in collaboration with malting barley suppliers (Including Agbiz Grain members) in a horizontal relationship with the sole buyer of malting barley in South Africa.  Legal council indicated that the exercise will promote competitiveness in the industry and from that point of view it is allowable to collaborate closely on the matter to develop a common storage protocol.  Agbiz Grain is now drafting a concept protocol and guidelines on the production, intake, storage, dispatch, handling of disputes, change to the grading regulations, evaluation of cultivars and research.

Published: 15/07/2021

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Leaf Services Working Group: Industry To Apply For Interdict?

Agbiz Grain supports the sector wide application for appeal to prevent the implementation of inspections by LEAF Services on 12 July 2021.

Published: 12/07/2021

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Agbiz Grain Workshop: The New JSE Rules As Applicable On Storage Operators

The JSE published the amended Detailed Agricultural Contract Specifications on 25 May 2021 following an extensive review and comment period.  Agbiz Grain has collaborated with the JSE to review the JSE rules applicable on storage operators.  The underneath workshop was organised for the benefit of Agbiz Grain members and has been  be facilitated by Dr Raphael Karuaihe and Mr Chris Sturgess. 

Published: 10/07/2021

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Possible Amendments To The Maize Grading Regulations

The Market Working Group of the Maize Forum Steering Committee proposed a change to the definition of frost damaged maize kernels in the grading regulations.  Agbiz Grain’s Quality Committee opposed the proposed changes to the definition after it became clear that the grading experts on maize in South Africa who conduct training and who are handling disputes on behalf of members in the value chain are in disagreement.  Not only on the current definition but also on the new proposed definition.  Consequently, Agbiz Grain organized a workshop on Tuesday 29th of June in order for the experts to reach agreement and to finalise an acceptable definition to be tabled to the Market Working Group of the Maize Forum Steering Committee.

Published: 05/07/2021

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Frost Damage: Malting Barley

The occurrence of frost and the impact on the germination capacity and germination energy of malting barley has a big financial and negative impact on the storage sector.  The sector needs to reduce the risk associated with the production, handling and storage of malting barley before the start of the next season.  Agbiz Grain consulted an grading expert to prepare the following for inclusion in the current grading regulations;

Published: 30/06/2021

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Leaf Services. Draft DALRRD Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

DALRRD has requested feedback on the Draft DALRRD Standard Operating Procedure (SOP):  Risk Profiling of FBO of regulated grains, oilseeds and grain products for the purpose of inspection by the designated assigees for Agbiz Grain’s inputs.  The reasons for amending the SOP are among others:

(1)        to align the SOP with notices that have since been gazetted
(2)        the amendment of the frequency of inspections per each categorized FBO, and the
(3)        an amendment to include the designated assignee.

Agbiz Grain are preparing our feedback to be submitted as input to DALRRD this Friday 27 June 2021.

Published: 27/06/2021

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Transnet Freight Rail And Transnet Port Authority

The Transnet Freight Rail and Transnet Port Authority conduct a bi-weekly meeting to discuss operational issues with respect to the exports of especially citrus and maize.  Although exports is not a core focus area for Agbiz Grain (Storage operators) we stepped in and presented an overview of the operational issues that we identified in dealing with especially Transnet Freight Rail.  Agbiz Grain was invited by the Decongestion Meeting Committee to do a presentation on Friday 18 June on operational issues and the increase in exports for both maize and citrus. Our inputs were recognised and appreciated by the Citrus Growers Association and the Decongestion Committee. The meeting on Friday 18 June followed on a previous presentation prepared for the meeting of 3 June between Agbiz and the CEO of Transnet Freight Rail.

Published: 18/06/2021

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Grain Silo Storage Cost Index (GSCI)

The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) has received the information of 30 different silos across 9 storage operators and calculated a preliminary index.  The three largest cost items include salaries, depreciation and maintenance. Over the most recent three years, the year on year changes in the Grain Silo Cost Index compared closely to that of the PPI (Producer Price Index).  The BER is busy verifying the data and finalising the report.  The report should be available within the next two weeks.  The weight of the cost components and actual costs differs largely between the respondents.  Individual repondents should be able to compare their own information with the national average.

Published: 15/06/2021

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SAGL: Report On Maize Discolouration And Water Damage

The Trade Working Group has accepted the results of the study and recommend that the project not be expanded to yellow maize, which will result in a saving on the approved funding.  However, matters got complicated when a consensus recommendation of the Working Group was questioned at the Maize Forum Steering Committee by the same members serving on the Working Group, although it is accepted that some new information may become available.

Published: 15/06/2021

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SAGL: Maize Crop Quality Survey

The SAGL expresses thanks to the members of Agbiz Grain who collaborates on a weekly basis by sending samples to the SAGL.

Published: 08/06/2021

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New Agbiz Grain Storage And Associate Members

Agbiz Grain received interest from other storage operators and companies that associate with Agbiz Grain to join the organisation as members. Consequently, Agbiz Grain has reviewed its membership policy and fee structure by the end of May. In addition to the normal membership by storage operators it is now also possible for business entities that associate with Agbiz Grain but who are not storage operators to become an associate member of the organisation.  We are hoping to welcome a couple of storage operators and other business entities as new members of Agbiz Grain in the immediate future.

Published: 30/05/2021

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