Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

The harvest process is in full swing across the country, underpinned by favourable weather conditions. The progress is reflected in the volumes of maize delivered to commercial silos which amounted to 780 033 tons in the week ending 13 July 2018, down by 14% from the previous week (ending 6 July 2018).

About 56% of this was white maize, with 44% being yellow maize. In contrast to the previous months when harvest progress was mainly in the central and eastern parts of the country, which predominantly produce yellow maize, this is now widespread as reflected by higher white maize deliveries.

The total maize deliveries for the first 11 weeks of the 2018/2019 marketing year are estimated at 5,9 million tons, which equates to 45% of the estimated harvest of 13,2 million tons.   Yellow maize accounts for 56% of overall maize deliveries, with white maize accounting for 44%. The yields in areas that have harvested largely varied between average and above average, which is somewhat in line with market expectations.

More maize will be delivered in the coming weeks as the expected cool and drier weather conditions in most parts of the country in the next two weeks could provide conditions conducive to the harvest process. The weather forecast for the week ending 03 August 2018 presents a possibility of showers in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, which could slow the harvest process in areas that have not yet completed the process.

Maize harvesting in the eastern parts of South Africa is mostly done, while in the western regions the crop is still wet due to the late start of the season. Therefore, the forecast cool and drier weather conditions are exactly what is needed in the maize belt. –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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