Dr Frikkie Maré, academic head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS), provides a monthly market overview of the previous month’s agricultural markets. This is the overview for August 2020.

Maize market

The price of yellow maize increased drastically during August. The market closed at R3 077/ton.

Yellow maize price. (Source: Stats SA)

Economic indicators

The rand dipped during the beginning of the month, before it picked up again towards the beginning of September. At the end of August, the rand traded R16,83 and R20,15 against the dollar and euro, respectively.

During August, the consumer price index and producer price index increased year-on-year by 3,2% and 1,9%, respectively. The prime lending rate remained steady at 7%. The economic growth for the second quarter of 2020, as represented by the gross domestic product (GDP), decreased by 17,1% on a year-on-year basis.

Exchange rate. (Source: Stats SA)
Economic indicator. (Source: Stats SA)
Economic growth. (Source: Stats SA)

Red meat market

During August, the price of A2 lamb carcasses decreased slightly but still came out on top, while B and C grade prices increased. The price of A grade beef carcasses moved sideways and B and C grade prices increased. The last available prices for beef carcasses in August were R43,54/kg for A2, R41,35/kg for B2 and R39,62/kg for C2.

The last available prices for lamb and sheep carcasses were R87,31/kg for A2, R72,16/kg for B2 and R65,74/kg for C2. The price of weaner lambs decreased slightly during August, while the price for weaner calves increased. The last available prices were R33,31/kg for calves and R41,86/kg for lambs.

The prices of both hides and Merino skins saw some sideways movement. However, the price of Dorper skins strengthened compared to the previous month.

Beef. (Source: RMAA)
Sheep. (Source: RMAA)
Weaner calves and lambs. (Source: RPO)
Skins and hides. (Source: RMAA)

Wool and mohair market

The fibre market received some serious blows during August. The wool indicator decreased by 4,1% during the last auction in August compared to the previous auction and traded 44,7% lower than a year ago. The mohair indicator decreased by 0,8% during the last auction in August and traded 8,8% lower than a year ago.

Wool. (Source: Cape Wools SA)
Wool. (Source: Cape Wools SA)
Mohair. (Source: Mohair SA)
Mohair. (Source: Mohair SA)

Dairy market

The consumer price of milk, eggs and cheese moved sideways during July. The producer price of milk products, milk and eggs decreased.

Consumer price index. (Source: Stats SA)
Producer price index. (Source: Stats SA)

Click here to read the July 2020 market overview. – Dr Frikkie Maré, University of the Free State