Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

A large share of the 2017/2018 maize crop has already been delivered to commercial silos, hence the decline in weekly producer deliveries in recent weeks. In the week ending 05 October 2018, maize producer deliveries amounted to 31 986 tons, down by 62% from the previous week (ending 28 September 2018). About 55% of this was white maize, with 45% being yellow maize.

This placed South Africa’s maize producer deliveries at 11,2 million tons, which equates to 87% of the 12,9 million ton-harvest for the 2017/2018 production season. The yields in most areas largely varied between average and above average.

Today (11 October 2018), the focus will be on the weekly grain trade data which is due for release at midday. South Africa exported a mere 15 556 tons of maize in the week ending 28 September 2018, well below the previous week’s (ending 21 September 2018) volume of 87 415 tons, due to softer demand in the traditional market. This, nonetheless, placed South Africa’s 2018/2019 maize exports at 1,3 million tons, which equates to 60% of the seasonal export.

In the evening, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release an update of its estimates for South Africa’s 2018/2019 maize production – a production season that opened at the beginning of this month. In September 2018, the agency placed its preliminary estimate at 13,0 million tons (commercial and non-commercial production), down 6% from the previous season.

This is likely to be revised down due to prospects of an El Niño weather event, which the Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecasts occurrence of this year at 70%.-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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