Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

A large share of the 2017/2018 maize crop has already been delivered to commercial silos, hence the weekly producer deliveries have slowed in recent weeks. In the week ending 12 October 2018, maize producer deliveries amounted to 33 063 tons, well below the previous week’s (ending 5 October 2018) volume. About 55% of this was white maize, with 45% being yellow maize.

This placed South Africa’s maize producer deliveries at 11,2 million tons, which equates to 87% of the 12,9 million tons harvested for the 2017/2018 production season. While the harvest was well below the 2016/2017 production season, the yields were quite good in most areas, varying between average and above average.

Today (18 October 2018), the focus will be on the weekly grain trade data which is due for release at midday. South Africa exported 57 974 tons of maize in the week ending 5 October 2018, well above the previous week’s (ending 28 September 2018) volume of 15 697 tons. 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.

In terms of the new production season, the weather forecast for the next two weeks looks favourable, with prospects of between 16 and 60 millimetres over the maize belt. This should improve soil moisture and therefore benefit the maize planting process.

The medium-term weather outlook remains a key concern as weather forecasters suggest that there is a 70% chance of an El Niño occurrence later in summer, which might negatively affect the crop. –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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