Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

The maize harvest activity is gaining momentum across the country, largely supported by favourable weather conditions. The progress is reflected in the volumes delivered to commercial silos which amounted to 845 630 tons in the week ending 22 June 2018, up by 10% from the previous week (ending 15 June 2018).

About 59% of this was yellow maize, with 41% being white maize. Overall, maize deliveries for the initial eight weeks of the 2018/2019 marketing year are estimated at 3,1 million tons, which equates to 23% of the estimated harvest for the season.

More maize will be delivered in the coming weeks as the expected cool and drier weather conditions during the next two weeks could provide conditions conducive for the harvest activity, particularly in the early planted areas in the eastern and central parts of the South African maize belt.

To reiterate a point made in our previous note, the National Crop Estimates Committee lifted its forecast for South Africa’s 2017/2018 maize production by 2% from last month (June) to 13,2 million tons. Of this, 6,9 million tons are white maize, with yellow maize at 6,3 million tons. Subsistence farmers’ maize production forecast (white and yellow) was left unchanged from last month, currently at 593 975 tons.

With the domestic annual maize need estimated at 10,8 million tons, at the back of the expected 13,2 million tons of production, with an opening stock of 3,7 million tons, South Africa could see exports exceeding 2,5 million tons in the 2018/2019 marketing year which ends in April 2019. Fortunately, the regional maize demand could be solid this season given that a number of countries are expecting a lower harvest. – 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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