South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) has made a further upward adjustment to its 2019/20 crop estimates by raising the expected output by 1,8% to 17,07 million tons of grain and oilseeds crops.

The country’s biggest staple, maize, was raised by 1,7% from the first estimate in February this year, to 14,81 million tons. This is mainly due to a significant increase of 2,9% in white maize, from 8,29 million to 8,54 million tons.

In the oilseeds complex, the expected sunflower output jumped 4,6% month-on-month (m/m) to 731 210 tons, while the estimate for soya beans advanced 2,1% m/m to 1,27 million, which is 8,4% higher than the previous season and the third highest on record. Groundnuts also saw output increasing by 3,1% m/m to 56 060 tons, up by a whopping 189% year-on-year (y/y).

Boost for export revenues

The season so far has progressed well, and all indications are that we are going to finish the year on a positive note. This is not only a good development from a gross domestic product perspective, but this bullish supply outlook will also help tame food inflation despite upward pressure from the weaker rand.

Finally, a sustained rand weakness will continue to boost export revenues for exportable products such as maize and fruit. – Paul Makube, senior agricultural economist, FNB Agri-Business