Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Terms of trade in agricultural trade

Trade Briefs

Terms of trade in agricultural trade

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South Africa has traditionally been a net exporter of agricultural products, but in recent years the gap between these exports on the one side and imports on the other has been narrowing, even slightly favouring imports. Indeed, if South Africa followed the international norm and assessed import values as including costs of freight and insurance the reverse situation would apply as South Africa would become a net importer of agricultural products.

The objective of this paper is to assess whether South African agricultural export prices had on average risen more than the comparable import prices in the last six years, a period leading up to and immediately following the global commodity crisis. We find that this has indeed been the case for the last three years but that for the two-year period 2008-2009 import prices rose faster. 

The paper was compiled during a data training workshop (‘Geek Week’) at tralac from 9 to 13 September 2013.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.


Terms of trade in agricultural trade - Author(s): Xolisiwe Yolanda Potelwa, Tshimangadzo Mugobi and Ron Sandrey

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