The weather remains a key focus in South African agricultural markets as summer crops are still at critical growing stages which require moisture. The rainfall received in the past few weeks made an improvement in soil moisture.

The crop is generally in good condition in many areas. But, follow up rainfall is needed given that the crop has been moisture-stressed in the western parts of the country following dry conditions in the past few days.

Apart from the weather aspects, the domestic grain and oilseed market had a good run this week (ending 16 March 2018) with support emanating from commercial buying interest and higher Chicago grain prices. The notable gains were on yellow and white maize with spot prices up by 5% and 4%, respectively, compared to last week (ending 9 March 2018).

The week ahead (ending 23 March 2018) could present limited activity as the data calendar is quite light with only weekly grain trade and deliveries data due for release.

Fruit and vegetable prices were volatile this week with large daily stock levels underpinning the market. The SAFEX beef carcass market experienced another quiet week with prices unchanged from levels seen last week.

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