Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

The data calendar this week (ending 10 August 2018) is quite light. On the domestic front, we have the weekly maize trade and deliveries data. The favourable weather conditions in the past couple of weeks provided conducive conditions for the harvest process. This is reflected in the volumes of maize delivered to commercial silos which amounted to 813 814 tons in the week ending 27 July 2018. This placed total maize deliveries at 7,5 million tons, which equates to 57% of the estimated harvest. This week’s data will show an update for the week ending 03 August 2018.

In terms of trade, South Africa exported 128 013 tons of maize in the week ending 27 July 2018, up by 70% from levels seen in the previous week (ending 20 July 2018). About 96% was yellow maize, with 4% being white maize. The leading buyer was Japan with a share of 39%. Trailing Japan was Italy and Vietnam with shares of 30% and 20%, respectively. The rest went to regional markets. This placed South Africa’s 2018/2019 maize exports at 838 925 tons, which equates to 40% of the seasonal export forecast.

On the global front, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will start the week with the United States (US) crop progress report and end with the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. In the week ending 27 July 2018, about 72% of the US maize crop was rated good or excellent, which is far better than the 63% rating at the same time last year. The improvement is mainly on the back of favourable weather conditions since the start of the season. This week could bring rainfall in most parts of the US Midwest, which should keep the crop in good condition.

Last month (July), the USDA placed the 2018/2019 global maize production estimate at 1,05 billion tons, slightly up from the previous month (June) and 2%higher than the previous season. This month’s data could remain unchanged from July 2018.

Aside from the maize market, the dam levels have improved significantly in the Western Cape, thanks to the recent rainfall. –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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