Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz

The favourable weather conditions in the past couple of weeks provided conducive conditions for the harvest process. The progress is reflected in the volumes of maize delivered to commercial silos, which amounted to 746 087 tons in the week ending 20 July 2018, down by 4% from the previous week (ending 13 July 2018).

About 63% of this was white maize, with 37% being yellow maize. This shows that the central and the western parts of South Africa are starting to make good progress, unlike the previous weeks when the deliveries were largely yellow maize, which is predominantly planted in the eastern parts of South Africa.

This placed the country’s 2018/2019 maize marketing year producer deliveries at 6,7 million tons, which equates to 51% of the estimated harvest of 13,2 million tons. Yellow maize accounts for 54% of overall maize deliveries, with white maize accounting for 46%. The yields in areas that have harvested largely varied between average and above average, which is somewhat in line with market expectations.

Today (26 July 2018), the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) will release its sixth production estimate for South Africa’s 2017/2018 maize production. Reuters analysts’ survey shows that the committee could lift its estimate for commercial maize production by a percentage point from the current estimate of 13,2 million tons to 13,3 million tons. This is in line with Bloomberg analysts’ survey.

Looking ahead, the weather forecast for the next two weeks is quite favourable over most parts of the maize belt, with clear skies, which bodes well for the summer crop harvest process. – 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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