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​Agriculture

            

Grain Sector

agricultureThe grain industry is one of the largest industries of South African. Agriculture sector in South Africa produces between 25% and 33% of the total gross value of agricultural production.

Main commodities transported within the Grain sector are maize, export maize and wheat, of which maize is the biggest volume.

 

Deep sea exports were mainly done through Durban harbour. The exports through East London came to a sudden halt when the structure was declared unsafe in 2010, but was subsequently re-opened in 2011, with Transnet Freight Rail conveying 75% of the export market since March 2011.

 

The role players in the market, namely, millers, traders, co-operatives and logistics companies – even a few banking institutions - are not really changing much. Some traders have changed to doing solely export and some have diversified in to a variety of grain markets.

 

The following factors might impact on the future performance of the sector, namely:

  (i) opening up of international markets for export maize;

 (ii) South African climate;

 (iii) rand / dollar exchange rate;

(iv) local grain prices which will dictate imports / exports and

 (v) grain demand in the southern African region.

 

The market objectives are to try and recapture some of the lost market share over the next few years. This will go hand in hand with TFR’s efficiency improvements, implementation of the Grain Model, volume ramp up and more reliable service. We are looking at increasing tonnages transported with at least 5% per year over the next 4 years.

Timber

The Timber Sector services customers that are either involved in the forestry industry, i.e. planting and harvesting of trees, or customers that deal in “value added” forestry products, i.e. paper, pulp and mining timber.

There are also non-related timber products such as coal, lime & black liquor that serve as raw material inputs for many of the timber clients such as SAPPI and MONDI.

 

The majority of our Forestry Industry clients are clients that grow trees for the sole purpose of harvesting these trees at maturity and sending the logs to either Paper Mills or Wood Chipping Plants. Typical customers that fall into this category are Sappi, Mondi, TWK and NCT. These four customers account for 97% of the Timber Sectors business.

 

The timber business that constitutes the “finished product” category; i.e., paper, pulp and mining timber, accounts for approximately 7% of the sector traffic. Typical customers that fall into this category are Sappi, Bedrock and Reatile Trimrite.

FMCG

FMCG consists of frequently purchased products such as food, beverages, household products and general merchandise.

The market is very volatile with new commodities and brands launched frequently. The ABL BU transports mainly sugar-cane, refined sugar products, beer and barley in this portfolio. Key customers are SAB Miller, Tongaat Hulett, TSB Molasses and Southern Ass Malsters.  

Fertiliser

The South African fertiliser industry of today is fully exposed to world market forces and operates in a totally deregulated environment with no import tariffs or government sponsored support measures. As South Africa imports all its potassium- as well as around 50% of its nitrogen requirements, local prices are subject to the same supply and demand drivers as the international industry.

Shipping costs and the Rand/dollar exchange rate as well as local fuel prices further influence domestic prices. The main players in the fertilizer market are: Omnia Fertiliser Ltd, Nitrophoska Pty Ltd, & SA Feed Phosphates This sector is the logistics enabler of the various sectors above that need to convey products to and from over border countries. A varied product and client base characterises this business sector which aims to increase trade between South Africa’s immediate neighbours and other countries from the broader SADC region. A few of the products conveyed are: copper, sugar, grain, fuel, soda ash and containerised goods. 

Africa Trade(Strategic portfolio)

This sector is the logistics enabler of the various sectors above that need to convey products to and from over-border countries. A varied product and client base characterises this business sector which aims to increase trade between South Africa’s immediate neighbours and other countries from the broader SADC region. A few of the products conveyed are: copper, sugar, grain, fuel, soda ash and containerised goods.