Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

The progress of South Africa’s harvest process is largely dependent on the weather. The past few weeks continued with minimal interruptions due to favourable weather conditions. However, the forecast for the next eight days shows a possibility of rainfall over the maize belt which could subsequently slow the harvest process, particularly in the Free State and North West provinces.

What is more concerning is that the expected rainfall could be over 25 millimetres, which increases the chances of damage to the quality of the crops. These showers are, however, temporary, as this is not a rainfall season in summer crop areas. The weather forecast for the week ending 27 July 2018 shows clear skies over most parts of the maize belt, with the exception of the southern parts of the Free State province. We will closely monitor the developments during the next couple of days.

As set out in our previous notes, this season’s maize harvest activity is behind schedule due to the late start of planting activity which was caused by unfavourable weather conditions, particularly in the central and western parts of the country. On 29 June 2018, about 31% of the expected harvest of 13,2 million tons had already been delivered to commercial silos.

An update for the week ending 06 July 2018 will be released tomorrow (11 July 2018). The data will most likely show an uptick in activity given that weather conditions were fairly favourable in the past couple of weeks over maize producing regions of the country.

At midday today (10 July 2018), SAGIS will release South Africa’s grain trade data for the week ending 06 July 2018. The exports for the last week of June (ending 29 June 2018) were disappointing, amounting to 63 412 tons of maize, down by 16% from the week ending 22 June 2018. – 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.

Find previous reports here.