Eggs and poultry supply constraints in South Africa

The topical issue in South Africa's agriculture currently is the avian influenza spreading across South Africa. The most dominant strains are the highly pathogenic H5 and H7. The most affected provinces so far are Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State, Limpopo and North West.

We understand that over a hundred mostly commercial facilities have reported avian influenza cases so far. Notably, there are reported losses in parental stock for breeders of layers and in broilers. For this reason, there are now constraints to egg supplies, as evident in various retail shelves across South Africa.

Over the past week, we participated in two critical meetings addressing the immediate challenge. First, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) met with the retailers. The aim was to assess the severity of the egg supplies at the retail level and assess various response measures.

Second, the DALRRD met with the poultry industry to receive an update on the spread of the disease and for the industry to obtain insights into the state's veterinary services.

We discuss more in this week's podcast segment.

My writing on agricultural economic matters is available on my blog:

Podcast production by: Lwandiso Gwarubana, Richard Humphries, and Sam Mkokeli
17 Oct 2023 English South Africa Investing · Food

Other recent episodes

SA agricultural exports reach a record US$13.2 billion

Despite all the challenges at the ports and various export markets, the South African agricultural sector has continued to realize excellent export activity. Total agricultural exports reached a new record of US$13.2 billion in 2023, up 3% from the previous year. This is stronger than our earlier expectations of a…
4 Mar 12 min

SA farm jobs up 7% year-on-year

Wandile Sihlobo unpacks the latest agriculture trends and statistics in this podcast. After a notable jump in the third quarter of 2023 to 956,000, South Africa's primary agricultural employment fell by 4% quarter-on-quarter to 920,000 in the last quarter of 2023. Jobs declined mainly in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape,…
26 Feb 13 min

Excessive heat across SA summer crop regions is worrying

The excessive heat across South Africa currently is a significant concern for the farming sector. The 2023/24 summer crop season started on favourable footing. We received widespread rains, which was unusual in an El Niño season, which would typically start with drier weather conditions. According to data from the Crop…
19 Feb 12 min

Weak agricultural machinery sales

We start the year with reasonably weak agricultural machinery sales data. South Africa's tractor sales were down 26% y/y in January 2024, with 353 units sold. At the same time, the combine harvesters were down 50% y/y, with eight units sold. At face value, this could be viewed as a…
13 Feb 11 min

A promising summer grain outlook

South Africa could have yet another decent summer grains and oilseeds harvest in the 2023/24 production season. The data released this afternoon by the Crop Estimates Committee puts the preliminary area plantings for summer grains and oilseeds at 4,41 million hectares, up by 0,4% y/y (albeit down mildly from 4,48…
5 Feb 12 min