The stronger domestic currency, coupled with prospects of rainfall across the summer crop growing areas, and lower Chicago grain prices led to widespread losses in the South African agricultural commodity markets this week (ending 26 January 2018).

The notable losses were on white and yellow maize with spot prices down by 6% and 3%, respectively, compared to the previous week (ending 19 January 2018). The soya bean and sunflower seed prices were down by 2% and 1% from last week (ending 19 January 2018) respectively.

The week ahead (ending 2 February 2018) is data-packed, but the most anticipated release is the National Crop Estimates Committee’s preliminary plantings data for summer crops. Analysts’ surveys suggest that farmers were unable to successfully plant the intended area in the western parts of the country due to persistent dry conditions. The extent of this will be clear next week ending 3 February 2018.

Fruit and vegetable prices were volatile this week (ending 26 January 2018) with lower daily stock levels underpinning the market. The SAFEX beef carcass market remained flat this week ending 26 January 2018 due to thinly traded volumes.

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