In the absence of major data releases, the weather remained a primary focus in the South African grain and oilseed market this week (ending 16 November 2018). This time around, however, the prospects have turned positive for summer crop areas, with expectations of higher rainfall in the country during the next two weeks. This is good for both areas that are yet to plant as it will improve soil moisture ahead of the process, and also bodes well for recently planted areas as it will support the germination process of the crop.
The eastern parts of South Africa, which predominantly produce yellow maize and soya beans, have made good progress in terms of planting, whereas the western regions have not started in large areas due to drier conditions in the past few weeks.
In terms of winter crops, the past couple of weeks brought cool and drier weather conditions in the Western Cape, which supported the harvest process.
Apart from the grain market, the SAFEX beef carcass market experienced a quiet week with prices unchanged from levels seen last week (ending 9 November 2018). In terms of supply, South African farmers slaughtered 189 108 head of cattle in September 2018, down by 11% year-on-year (y/y) due to the herd rebuilding process after a reduction during the 2015/2016 drought.
In the first nine months of this year (2018), South African farmers slaughtered roughly 1,8 million head of cattle, down by 7% from the corresponding period last year (2017). –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.