South Africa continues to face major economic challenges and this placed constraints on consumer spending throughout the review period. The situation deteriorated further in 2018, with the country falling into technical recession during the second quarter of the year.
2018 saw Western Cape still in the grip of the worst and most widespread drought seen in the country for 300 years. This drought has been having a severe impact on livestock production for the past three years as farmers do not have enough feed and water for their livestock and they have been forced to cull their lambs.
The listeriosis outbreak which emerged in South Africa in October 2017 has resulted in declining pork production, placing further pressure on the country’s already beleaguered meat production industry. The outbreak resulted in more than 180 deaths before March 2018, when the cause was finally identified as Tiger Brands Ltd’s Enterprise Foods production facility in Polokwone.
The South African poultry industry has still not recovered from the 2017 outbreak of avian influenza which resulted in almost five million birds being culled to prevent the spread of the disease. Due to the shortage of birds, South Africa increased poultry imports in 2018, with Brazil supplying 52% of total imports.
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