Dr Frikkie Maré, academic head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS), provides a monthly market overview of the previous month’s agricultural markets. This is the market overview for October 2020.

Maize market

The price of yellow maize continued its upward trend during October. After reaching a high of R3 659/ton, the market closed at R3 511/ton.

Yellow maize price. (Source: Stats SA)

Economic indicators

The rand held its ground in October. By the end of the month the currency traded at R16,23 and R18,89 against the dollar and euro, respectively. The consumer price index and producer price index increased by 3% year-on-year (y/y) and 2,5% y/y during September. The prime lending rate remained steady at 7% in October. Economic growth during the second quarter of 2020, as represented by the gross domestic product (GDP), decreased once again by 17,1% y/y.

Exchange rate. (Source: Stats SA)
Economic indicator. (Source: Stats SA)
Economic growth. (Source: Stats SA)

Red meat market

In October, the price of A2 lamb carcasses decreased, while the prices of B2 and C2 sheep carcasses increased slightly. The prices of A- and B-grade beef carcasses increased.

The last available beef carcass prices were R50,07/kg for A2, R44,50/kg for B2 and R42,02/kg for C2. The last available prices of A2, B2 and C2 lamb and sheep carcasses were R83,38/kg, R69,45/kg and R67,96/kg, respectively.

The last available prices for weaner lambs and calves were R41,24/kg and R36,83/kg, respectively. Dorper and Merino skin prices were erratic during October, with prices moving sideways. The price of hides gained some ground and strengthened towards the end of the month.

Beef. (Source: RMAA)
Sheep. (Source: RMAA)
Weaner calves and lambs. (Source: RPO)
Skins and hides. (Source: RMAA)

Wool and mohair market

The wool indicator price decreased by 2,2% during the last auction in October compared to the previous auction and traded 16,6% lower than a year ago. The Mohair indicator price increased by 5,4% during the last auction and traded 15,1% higher than a year ago.

Wool. (Source: Cape Wools SA)
Wool. (Source: Cape Wools SA)
Mohair. (Source: Mohair SA)
Mohair. (Source: Mohair SA)

Dairy market

The consumer prices of milk, eggs and cheese increased slightly during September, while the producer price of milk products, milk and eggs decreased.

Consumer price index. (Source: Stats SA)
Producer price index. (Source: Stats SA)

Click here to read the September 2020 market overview. – Dr Frikkie Maré, University of the Free State