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first_imgChi Chi Maponya, Brand South Africa’s chairperson, said an Africa with no borders will turn the continent into an integrated force.AFRICA is on a quest to improve its global competitiveness. With increased investment from China, Japan and the United States – the last has hinted at extending its Africa Growth and Opportunity Act – conditions are right for success. However, experts say that before we can think about trading with these economic giants and being more globally competitive, African nations have to improve relations with each other.Government representatives and private business stakeholders gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Johannesburg on 25 July to discuss pan-Africanism and African integration over the next 50 years. The event, hosted by Brand South Africa, looked at ways of improving trade, movement of people and economic competitiveness on the continent.Brand South Africa chief executive Miller Matola was optimistic Africa would reach its full potential by 2063. He said that to overcome development challenges on the continent, trade needed to be bolstered between African countries and freedom of movement between borders needed to be increased.Stanley Subramoney, the chairman of the Nepad Business Foundation, said one of the reasons Africa was not competitive was because the infrastructure was designed mostly for trade outside the continent. It was not built for intra-African business. He pointed out that all major roads in Africa lead to ports, while networks between cities were poor. “We do not have the infrastructure, which is the reason we do not trade among ourselves. Sub-Saharan intra-African trade is about 7 percent.”Nepad Business Foundation’s chairman, Stanley Subramoney, said for intra-African trade to improve, infrastructure on the continent would have to be improved.He added that the projected infrastructure deficit from now until 2040 was approximately $93-billion (R907-billion) a year. And though Africa was spending about $48-billion on infrastructure annually, Subramoney said inefficient authorities that managed the trade corridors cost the continent as much as $17-billion.A 20-foot container coming from Shanghai to the Port of Durban cost $2 000, but to transport that same container from Durban to Shanghai cost $350. This was because goods were not being shipped out of the country. “We are pulling imports but we not exporting. And it is because our economy is not competitive.”More alarming, transporting that same container from Durban to Johannesburg cost $2 200. Subramoney blamed this on the use of trucks, which were inefficient. “There is a whole load on trucks leaving Durban for Johannesburg, but the same trucks are returning empty.”The regional director of the African Development Bank, Ebrima Faal, said transformation of the continent’s economic structure would require stakeholders to finance these trade corridors between countries. Faal referred to the Programme for Infrastructural Development in Africa as an appropriate tool that would open up continental trade corridors. But to do that would require $360-billion. “It targets road, rail, airports and maritime ports that need to be in place to allow the continent to trade with each other and therefore create jobs.”Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, the continent faces a lot of developmental challenges but it does not mean there are no solutions for them. Seated beside him is Brand South Africa’s chairperson, Chi Chi Maponya.IntegrationFor integration to take place, countries in Africa had to create an open environment for business, which would allow goods and people to flow across borders more freely. Taking these aspects into consideration, Matola said South Africa was the frontrunner when it came to driving integration. Indeed, statistics from the 2012/2013 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report show that South Africa is first out of 144 countries when it comes to ease of business.Chi Chi Maponya, Brand South Africa’s chairperson, said the Department of Trade and Industry was leading talks on integrating the three regional trade blocs of the Southern African Development Community, the Economic Community of West African States, and the East African Community. Combined, these three regions are home to over 700 million people. “In terms of trade, there is a lot of discussion which seeks to achieve a borderless continent. That is not to say there will not be any borders; they are there for the sovereign identity of every country and that has to be respected. But there is so much we can do together in building a common goal of making Africa an integrated force.”She said Africans had to find a way to make movement of goods, services and people easier for each other. “Before a dollar moves out of the continent it should have circulated a number of times within these trading blocs and changed the lives of the people.” Ebrima Faal, regional director of African Development Bank, said that for trade corridors to be more open it would need funding from stakeholders Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said attempts to make Africa borderless did not mean boundaries would collapse. Instead, it would make trade and contact between people more efficient. He referred to the system established by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda whereby foreign businesspeople pay customs at a one-stop border post. Such posts were being established throughout Africa to make the movement of goods and people quicker and easier.“While the physical boundaries will not collapse, the potential exists for all these countries to work together so that the system is efficient and the markets that our goods need to access [do] not face the same strain as [they] did in the past,” said Chabane.Asked whether South Africans would embrace nationals from other African countries, Chabane said they had already been accepted in society. Africans from other regions had been trading in the country since 1994 and even owned property.Xenophobia existed at grassroots level, he said, and was a result of South Africa’s isolation from the rest of the world during apartheid. “South Africans were not allowed to travel outside its borders, let alone to have a passport. It is very rare to find a South African on the streets of Harare, Lagos or Egypt trying to sell something because we have always been confined.”Brand South Africa’s chief executive, Miller Matola, believes South Africa is increasingly becoming more innovative, which will help boost its competitivenessInnovationAccording to the WEF, there are three stages of development that define the competitiveness of a country. Weak economies are categorised as factor driven, emerging economies as efficiency driven and developed economies as innovation driven.South Africa is an efficiency driven economy. But Matola said that in coming years, it could transform into an innovative market. The WEF report ranked South Africa far higher than its emerging market counterparts. “We are better than the Next11 countries in terms of innovation. And the same goes for the Brics countries. So though we cannot say we are there, we can look at South Africa and say we are increasingly becoming more innovative.”South Africa is also a global leader in legal rights, regulation of securities exchanges, and efficiency of corporate boards, and it has strong auditing and reporting standards. It is second when it comes to availability of financial services and third in financing through the local equity market. All of these aspects open up the platform for innovation.Chabane said it was up to South Africans to create the platform. “Once you have more skilled people, especially from various areas [of expertise], they will be able to create space to be innovative.” He pointed out the Square Kilometre Array project in the Northern Cape, which had the largest telescope in the world, and the arms industry as examples of South African innovation.The Department of Science and Technology, Chabane said, was trying to create an innovative environment by co-ordinating the country’s research capacity and ensuring the science field was managed properly. “We hope with these efforts, at some point we will be able to increase the capacity of innovation that is in the country to make us competitive.”Maponya said South Africa’s current industrialisation drive would unleash a lot of talent. As a result, the country would no longer be a consumer market but one that was creative. This environment, she added, would allow the “spirit of innovation” to thrive. “Each one of us must take a role and ask, ‘What am I going to do to contribute to this bigger picture?’ So when we look back at our achievements 50 years from now, [they will be] something we can all be proud of.”Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, said an Africa without borders will make trade more efficient and quicker, therefore making the continent more globally competitive.SACF launchBrand South Africa used the occasion to launch the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF), an event that will try to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the country’s economy. It will be held on 5 November 2013.According to Petrus de Kock, Brand South Africa’s research manager, the SACF would focus on five topics, namely: education and skills, products and services, governance and leadership, infrastructure, and foreign direct investment (FDI) competitiveness. “We have a very open economy to FDI and a very strong legal framework. We have to be open to those strengths.”De Kock said South Africans would be encouraged to become active participants in the economy to achieve the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), which included poverty alleviation, job creation, and quality health care. Brand South Africa had already reached out to business and the government for help in defining the kinds of competitiveness issues that affected the country’s reputation.Reputation was a key indicator determining a country’s competitiveness, De Kock explained. In the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brand Index, which measures a nation’s reputation, South Africa retained its 36th spot – out of 50 – for a second consecutive year.There will be two preliminary events leading up to the SACF. De Kock will host stakeholder input workshops on 30 August. Knowledge gathered at this event will be presented at the SACF. In September, Brand South Africa will be in Cape Town to co-host a youth dialogue on the NDP with the Graduate School of Business. Young men and women will be invited to express their views on the forum.last_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Friday’s bean rally may be attributed to the Brazilian Central Bank propping up their currency, which will likely slow farmer selling there in the short-term. Also, dry weather in Australia is helping support wheat prices. With both beans and wheat prices higher, corn also increased. U.S. farmers aren’t selling going into harvest, which is supportive. Soybeans and corn both closed technically strong, with potential for more upside next week. However, fundamentally it may be difficult, now that harvest is in full swing.The Chinese visited the U.S. this week and announced they would buy 500 million bushels of soybeans. The announcement was not a surprise to many in the trade as the Chinese consume 60% of the world’s soybeans. The contract details were a bit vague though. The bushels purchased have no guaranteed time frame and no letters of credit have been established. It was a great photo opportunity for all involved, but follow through with commitments will still be needed over the next several months.Corn yield reports are wide-ranging. It seems yields are higher than estimated in areas where conditions were good, but below estimates where conditions were poor. As harvest moves north, I expect corn yields to improve. Early estimates indicate the national yield could be lower than previously estimated, which would support prices. However, harvest has only begun in much of the Corn Belt. We are 30% done harvesting on our farm in Nebraska. Dryland corn is 35 bushels above APH yields (similar to last year) and irrigated is near normal (which was expected). Moisture levels ranging 14%-19%.Early bean harvest results are great north of I-90. Some are suggesting the national yield could be increased. However, as the harvest moves southward, the areas in the south where stands look questionable may not produce as well.What should a farmer do with grain in a commercial facility?I am a big advocate of 100% on-farm storage because of the flexibility and profit potential options. It’s difficult for farmers to optimize their grain marketing strategy to its highest profit potential without it. But, many farmers don’t have 100% on-farm storage. Often these farmers ask me what crop should be stored at home versus commercial storage. There isn’t a one-size fits all formula, because each farmer has their own unique situation. Farmers need to understand all the costs associated to make that decision.Here is an example of a common scenario: a farmer may only have 50% home storage capacity with operating loans on most of the crop and little grain priced for 2015.Keeping grain in commercial storage costs money. Not only monthly storage rates, but finance costs too. Finance costs need to be considered because farmers could just sell all their grain after harvest to pay off all the expenses of raising a crop. Farmers need to be aware of all the costs they face holding grain once its put into storage. How do I calculate those costs?First, farmers need to calculate the operating loan cost by multiplying the interest rate to the grain’s cash value at harvest. Let’s assume 5% interest on the average operation loan and today’s cash prices of nearly $4 corn and $8.75 soybeans:– Corn = 1.6 cents/bushel/month($4 cash value x 5% interest = 20 cents for an entire year / 12 months = 1.6 cents per month)– Soybeans = 3.6 cents/bushel/month($8.75 cash value x 5% interest = 43.75 cents for the entire year / 12 months = 3.6 cents per month) Second, farmers need to calculate the cost to store grain at a commercial facility. Typically it is around 5 cents/month. This means that storing grain costs about 6.6 cents for corn or 8.6 cents for soybeans per month in a commercial facility.But, the price of grain could explode if yields come up shortObviously this is a very common thought among farmers judging by how little of this year’s crop is already sold. Most farmers don’t realize that the futures price potential is actually irrelevant to grain storage decisions. When the cost of storage at a commercial facility is factored, neither crop makes good financial sense to hold. It would be better if farmers sold the grain for cash value and then rebought the grain “on paper” using futures. Why would farmers want to do this?If a farmer sells the grain for the cash value right away, it frees up money that can be used to pay down operating notes and reduces their cost per month significantly by eliminating storage fees and interest charges. Farmers could then buy back the grain with futures, waiting for the futures price they are hoping to get. How does this work?To buy back the grain using futures, the CBOT requires about 40 cents per bushel to be placed in the farmer’s account (i.e. margin). Typically, I suggest clients have an additional $1 per bushel more in their hedge account to cover any additional margin call. This would eliminate any margin calls unless the price dips below $3 for corn and $7.75 for soybeans. (This $1 per bushel extra is not required upfront, it’s whatever the farmer is comfortable with doing as long as they understand they could be responsible for more margin requirements.) Remember, you just sold your grain for cash ($4 for your corn or $8.75 for your soybeans), so the $1.40 per bushel amount should be easily covered, plus you will get this money back when you finally sell the futures. The loan expense equivalent on this amount would only be .6 cents per month ($1.40 at 5% = 7 cents per year or .6 cents per month). This is far less than the 6.6-8.6 cents per month to store the grain. Doing this, the farmer still has unlimited price risk, just as they did when they left it unpriced in the bin. What about basis appreciation?There is no guarantee the location the farmer delivers grain to at harvest will have the best basis later in the marketing year. Variances from rail shutter loader locations to ethanol or soy crush plants are wide-ranging making basis bids uncertain from location to location throughout the marketing year.While I have seen basis for both corn and beans to rally 6.6-8.6 cents/month, it has not been that common. Basically, owning grain on paper versus storing it in a commercial facility eliminates risk and improves cash flow.Most farmers don’t realize that they have the same risk using a futures account as they do to storing unpriced grain in a commercial facility. So while the basis could improve, the cost of storage and interest of the operating note will likely make the risk to store commercially unpriced grain too high.Sadly many farmers either don’t know how or don’t use all the tools available to them that would make their farm operations more profitable with less risk.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more


first_imgLATEST STORIES MOST READ BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Valdez’s last point put Creamline in match point before Pau Soriano denied Bali Pure’s Jennifer Keddy to seal the victory.“Fortunately for us, we were able to get the crucial points. The breaks of the game went to our favor and that’s really the difference in a game like this,” said Creamline assistant coach Sherwin Meneses in Filipino.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBali Pure and Creamline dispute a slot in the finals on Thursday.The Water Defenders erased a 12-8 deficit in the fifth set and even took a 14-13 edge after Keddy repeled Valdez’s attempt. Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Brownlee waxes hot, pulls Ginebra to semis Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV Kaewpin knotted the count at 14 before Valdez and Soriano put the finishing touches.Keddy paced Bali Pure with 23 points, highlighted by seven blocks.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCreamline finally took down top seed Bali Pure after a 24-26, 25-18, 18-25, 25-16, 16-14 squeaker on Tuesday to force a do-or-die Game 3 in their Premier Volleyball League semifinals series at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.Imports Kuttika Kaewpin and Laura Schaudt combined for 45 points while Alyssa Valdez added 15 for the Cool Smashers, who beat the Water Defenders for the first time in four tries.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

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