Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

The data calendar today (25 October 2018) is packed, but the most anticipated release is the intentions of farmers to plant the 2018/2019 summer crops to be released by the national Crop Estimates Committee this afternoon. An analysts’ survey by Bloomberg shows that the area plantings could be lifted by 5% from the 2017/2018 production season to 2,44 million hectares. About 1,37 million hectares could be white maize, with 1,07 million hectares likely to be utilised for yellow maize production.

The planting process has begun in several areas and is set to gain momentum during the next couple of weeks. This is due to improved soil moisture in the eastern and central regions of South Africa, and prospects of widespread higher rainfall over the maize belt during the next two weeks.

Also on the calendar today is the weekly grain trade data which is due for release at midday. South Africa exported 29 989 tons of maize in the week ending 12 October 2018, down by 48% from the previous week (ending 5 October 2018). The leading buyer was Ghana, accounting for 67% of overall weekly exports. This placed South Africa’s 2018/2019 maize exports at 1,4 million tons, which equates to 61% of the seasonal export forecast of 2,3 million tons. About 88% of the exports is yellow maize, with white maize accounting for 12%.-Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo, head of economic and agribusiness intelligence at Agbiz, shares highlights in his update on agricultural commodity markets. Click here for the full report on agri markets for the major commodities.

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