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Editor's note

A promising season for oilseeds, despite challenges

South Africa has experienced several challenges over the past two years. It appears that Covid-19 is slowly becoming more manageable, with a welcome change to legislation taking the country back to some form of normality. This is critical for resuscitating the economy, and observing so many international tourists returning to South Africa is indeed a welcome sight.

This is in stark contrast to China, which has been making every effort to eradicate the virus at the expense of free movement of people and the complete shutdown of some industries in specific regions of the country.

Currently entering our fifth wave, we are expecting the milder outcomes to continue, hopefully allowing normal activity.

Additional challenges

Additional uncertainty was caused by the riots in KwaZulu-Natal in 2021, resulting in major disruptions to the supply chain, from which certain sectors are still recovering. KwaZulu-Natal remained at the brunt of challenges with the devastating flooding in April this year, resulting in widespread infrastructure damage, as well as further supply disruptions that significantly influenced grain export movements.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine caught the world by surprise, despite the continuous threats indicating this had been imminent. The consequences impacting the energy, fertiliser, grain and oilseed sectors have been detrimental, adversely affecting the global food and energy balance. The world is grappling with adjusting to this new normal – South Africa included.

A new season

We have, however, been blessed with a wonderful season of rain – although in some cases excessive – aiding producers to provide excellent crops. The change in the economics of production is likely to see a shift toward oilseeds and we anticipate record oilseed plantings in the coming season.

Enjoy this jam-packed issue of Oilseeds Focus.