WINDHOEK: All agricultural commodity prices will increase over the medium to long-term, although in general terms, prices have dropped over the past few years.
Experts made these predictions during the recent Agricultural Outlook Conference that took place in South Africa, Pretoria at the beginning of this month, with the outcome published by the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) on its website on Friday.
Namibia’s economy is closely linked to that of neighbouring South Africa.
“The drought in America put the world stock of grain under big pressure, and this could cause that especially the maize price will be high, which again will increase the feeding costs of feed pens, which will put pressure on beef prices.
The low sheep production in southern Africa could cause that sheep prices increase, although there is a concern about the low import parity price of mutton,” it stated.
The long-term forecast is mainly linked to the growing world population, for whom food has to be produced. But unfortunately the world economy does not grow at the same speed, and this causes that especially the buying power for products such as meat can take longer to realise.
For the short-term, it is expected that food prices will increase mainly due to petrol prices.
It is also expected that carcass prices will increase faster than weaner prices, and it most probably is wise to consider ox farming instead of the sale of weaners on the hoof.
Experts furthermore warned that economic prospects for the next year are hampered by the variation of factors which have an influence on the economy.
The crisis in the Euro zone and the deceleration of China’s economic growth caused the economic growth of developing countries to be slower than expected.
Although the global economy is not in a recession officially, a longer period of lower growth (3 to 5 years) is expected.
It this raised the concern that the growth of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) is lower than expected.
The global economy is also expected to grow at about 3 per cent, and South Africa’s at about 4 per cent.
According to the experts, interest rates should be on the current level until 2018, whilst inflation will increase moderately to 6,5 per cent.
The conference was held under the theme “Is SA Now Entering a Golden Age?”.
As usual, the economic and commodity prices as well as the weather outlook roused interest.