Despite enjoying the highest export prices in its history the Australian economy contracted by 1.2% in the March quarter. No immediate cause for alarm: the proximate cause was a series of natural disasters in Queensland. Mineral exports, especially coal, were disrupted. A bounce-back to growth is expected in the June quarter.
In a recent pro-Pinotage review, Neil Pendock gave his view on South Africa's 15% reduction in wine sales in the United Kingdom last year, while Portugal increased its sales 25%. Though South Africa's beer and biltong reception for some of the world's wine connoisseurs during a wine show in London earlier this year seems a bit odd, there appears to be a much bigger problem somewhere.
The platinum mining board of the JSE is starting to regain its sheen following a taxing few years since the start of the global economic slowdown. Platinum miners on the JSE have announced nine transactions to June 21, totalling a combined value of a shade under R5bn and this compares favourably with a meagre four deals announced during the same period in 2010.