‘Products Mapping’ of South Africa’s Agri-food trade with the EU28 and Africa
No 4/2020, December
Zdráhal, I., Verter, N. and Lategan, F. (2020) ‘Products Mapping’ of South Africa’s Agri-food trade with the EU28 and Africa, AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 133-149. ISSN 1804-1930. DOI 10.7160/aol.2020.120410.
This paper uses ‘products mapping’ tool based on the trade balance index (TBI) and Lafay index to investigate trade performance and competitiveness in food items between South Africa (SA) and the EU28 and Africa. The data for this analysis is obtained from the UNCTAD database. SA’s agri-food trade balance climbed from $1.5 billion in 2005 to $3.1 billion in 2017. The results support the conclusion that in bilateral trade, certain products have comparative advantages in relation to African markets despite comparative disadvantages in relation to the EU28 market. Also, there is no or decreasing diversification towards more and new leading products despite the increased intra-regional openness. Leading products (especially fruit and nuts) are the dominant export generating segments in the product’s structure of SA’s agri-food trade. Also, leading products mostly contribute to the positive balance of SA’s agri-food trade. The findings of this study may contribute to business strategies, trade policies, and regional and inter-regional integration.
Agri-food, comparative advantage, competitiveness, TBI, Lafay index.
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