The weather remains a key focus in the South African grains and oilseeds market. Unfortunately, the central and western parts of the country received very little rainfall in the last few weeks of 2017 and they have also had a drier start to 2018. This led to delays in summer crop planting activity, particularly in the North West, and the western parts of the Free State.

These provinces collectively account for 68% of the intended maize planting area of 2.47 million hectares in the 2017/2018 production season. They also account for 86% share of the 665 500 hectares intended for sunflower seed production in the same season.

Overall, these weather developments, coupled with relatively higher global agricultural commodity prices added support to the domestic grains and oilseeds market this week (ending 12 January 2017).

Fruit and vegetable prices were volatile throughout the week with lower stock levels underpinning the market. The SAFEX beef carcass market remained flat this week due to thinly traded volumes.

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