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Dr Frikkie Maré, agricultural economist and academic head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State, gives a monthly agricultural market overview of the previous month’s markets. This is the agricultural market review for July 2021.

Maize market

During July, the price of yellow maize was volatile. However it still moved sideways to close at a price of R3 371 / ton.

Maize market. (Source: Grain SA)

Economic indicators

During July, the rand weakened against the major currencies. The currency concluded at R14,63 and R17,37 respectively against the dollar and the euro. The consumer price index (CPI) dropped to 4,9% year-on-year, while the producer price index (PPI) increased to 7,7%. The prime lending rate is still constant at 7%.

The economic growth for the first quarter of 2021, proposed by gross domestic product (GDP), was once again slightly better than during the previous quarter. However, the economy was still 3,2% smaller than a year ago (before the first Covid-19 restriction took its toll).

The agricultural sector’s growth was 7,5% year-on-year. Although it dropped from the previous quarter, agriculture’s growth percentage was still the highest of all sectors.

Exchange rate. (Source: Grain SA)
Economic growth. (Source: Statistics SA)
Economic indicators. (Source: Statistics SA)

Red meat market

During July, the prices of both lamb and sheep carcasses increased from the previous month. The prices of beef carcasses were volatile, with a slight downward trend.

The prices for the respective A2, B2 and C2 sheep carcasses were R98,90/kg, R82,37/kg and R73,78 / kg, according to the last available prices. For the respective A, B and C-grade beef carcasses, the respective prices were R51,43/kg, R47,82/kg and R44,18/kg.

The prices of the weaning lambs demonstrated a slight increase, while that of weaners dropped slightly in July. The last available prices were R50,95/kg and R38,31/kg respectively for weaner lambs and calves.

The prices of hides and Dorper and Merino sheets were volatile, but Merino sheets increased in price, while hides and Dorper skins showed a slight downward trend.

Sheep (Source: RMAA)
Beef (Source: RMAA)
Weaner calf and lamb. (Source: AMT)
Skins and hides. (Source: RMAA)

Wool and mohair market

During July, the auctions for natural fibre were closed. During the last auctions in June, the wool indicator rose by 1,5% compared to the previous auction and traded 14,2% higher than a year ago. Mohair fell by 5,4% in June, but traded 64,3% higher than last year.

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

Dairy market

During June, the consumer price of milk, eggs and cheese, as well as the producer prices for milk, eggs and milk products, rose.

Consumer price index. (Source: Statistics SA)
Producer price index. (Bron: Statistics SA)

Read June 2021’s agricultural market overview. – Hanel Mans and Dr Frikkie Maré, University of the Free State