This was a data-packed week for the grains and oilseeds market, with the most notable release being the National Crop Estimates Committee’s preliminary area planting estimates for the 2017/2018 summer crop production season, and winter wheat sixth production estimates.

From a summer crop perspective, the 2017/2018 initial planting estimates show a 7% year-on-year (y/y) decline to 3.70 million hectares. White maize and sunflower seed plantings are the key reason for this overall downswing.  The winter wheat production estimate was left unchanged from the previous month, at 1.48 million tonnes, which is 23% lower than the 2016 harvest.

This data was slightly better than market expectations and had limited impact on this week’s (ending 2 February 2018) prices. The market ended the week on a mixed footing, with maize and sunflower seed prices in positive territory, whereas wheat and soya beans recorded losses.

Fruit and vegetable prices were volatile this week (ending 2 February 2018) with lower daily stock levels underpinning the market. The SAFEX beef carcass market remained flat throughout this week (2 February 2018) due to thinly traded volumes.

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