South Africa 2018/19 summer crop planting intentions

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The data calendar today is packed, but the most anticipated release is the ‘intentions of farmers’ to plant 2018/19 summer crops to be released by national Crop Estimate Committee in the afternoon.

An analysts’ survey by Bloomberg shows that the area plantings could be lifted by 5 percent from the 2017/18 production season to 2.44 million hectares. About 1.37 million hectares could possibly be white maize, with 1.07 million hectares likely to be utilised for yellow maize production.

The planting process has begun in several areas and is set to gain momentum over the next couple of weeks. This is all due to improved soil moisture in the eastern and central regions of South Africa, and also prospects of widespread higher rainfall over the maize-belt within the next two weeks.

 Also on the calendar today is the weekly grain trade data which is due for release at midday. South Africa exported 29 989 tonnes of maize in the week of 12 October 2018, down by 48 percent from the previous week. The leading buyer was Ghana, accounting for 67 percent of overall weekly exports. This placed South Africa’s 2018/19 maize exports at 1.4 million tonnes, which equates to 61 percent of the seasonal export forecast of 2.3 million tonnes. About 88 percent of the exports is yellow maize, with white maize accounting for 12 percent.