Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

Today (27 June 2018), the most anticipated release is the National Crop Estimates Committee’s fifth production estimate for the 2017/2018 summer crops which will be released in the afternoon. Reuters analysts’ survey shows that the Committee could lift its estimate by 0,6% from the current estimate of 12,91 million tons to 12,99 million tons (above average production of 12,50 million tons). This is generally in line with our view. Reports from farmers suggest that a number of regions could possibly receive yields that vary between average and above-average.

Also due for release today (27 June 2018) is maize producer deliveries data, which should show an uptick given that weather conditions have been quite favourable for harvest activity in the past couple of weeks. To recap, the volume of maize delivered to commercial silos in the first seven weeks of the 2018/2019 marketing year is estimated at 2,24 million tons, which equates to 17% of the estimated harvest of 12,91 million tons.

Yesterday (26 June 2018), the weekly maize trade data was quite encouraging with exports at 70 172 tons in the week ending 22 June 2018, which is a 49% increase from the previous week (ending 15 June 2018). About 97% was yellow maize, with 3% being white maize.

The leading buyer was Vietnam, accounting for 90% of the weekly exports. Trailing Vietnam were Botswana and Swaziland, with 7% and 4% shares, respectively. Overall, this placed South Africa’s 2018/2019 maize exports at 400 833 tons, which equates to 20% of the seasonal export forecast.

Also worth noting is that South Africa’s maize stock was estimated at 3,4 million tons in May 2018, up by 35% from the corresponding period last year due to a large opening stock at the start of the season.  – Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

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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