Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

This week (ending 28 September 2018) we have a series of domestic data releases. Yesterday (25 September 2018), SAGIS released its monthly figures, today (26 September 2018), the Crop Estimates Committee will publish its final production forecasts for the 2017/2018 sunflower seed crop and other summer crops, and producer deliveries data are due tomorrow (27 September 2018).

A closer look at SAGIS monthly numbers shows that South Africa’s sunflower seed consumption amounted to 79 017 tons in August 2018, down by 14% from last month and 10% from the corresponding period last year (2017). This, however, was still above the long-term average consumption.

The ending stock was recorded at 538 681 tons in August 2018, down by 8% from the volume seen the previous month (July) and 15% from the corresponding period last year. This is partially due to the fact that the 2017/2018 harvest is slightly lower than the previous season’s crop.

In terms of trade, South Africa imported 213 tons of sunflower seed in August 2018. About 61% of this originated from Malawi and 39% from Botswana. This placed South Africa’s sunflower seed imports at 682 tons, well above the market expectations of 500 tons of imports in the 2018/2019 marketing year.

In August 2018, the Crop Estimates Committee placed its production estimate at 858 605 tons, up by 8% from the previous season partly due to expectations of better yields. A large share of the expected harvest had already been delivered to commercial silos.

In the week ending 14 September 2018, South Africa’s 2018/2019 producer deliveries were at 848 713 tons, which equates to 99% of the expected harvest. This suggests that the Crop Estimates Committee could leave the sunflower seed production estimate unchanged from the previous month. –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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