Economics and weather uncertainties supported maize prices in the past 2 months South Africa

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Yellow and white maize prices and soybean prices have increased significantly in the past two months. This is in line with industry expectations, the Rand drooped tremendously in the past 2 months which supporting maize exports, hence supporting prices. The harvesting pressures that were weighing on prices have subsided as we now in the new planting phase.

Planting intentions are expected to be slightly lower in the new production season due to the current stocks that's still large. South Africa is also experiencing weather uncertainty during panting season in the summer grain growing regions, rains are delayed an d this could lead to lower maize planted in the main growing regions. All these factors contributed to the increase you see from July 2018 to September 2018.



· Internationally, the sheep meat industry continues to perform well in global markets, with a positive outlook and growing global demand for lamb and mutton, supported by strong international economies, growing populations and increasing demand for high quality proteins. Locally, prices are expected to recover in the short term in line with seasonal trends and improved demand.

· The average lamb class A price during October 2018 was under great pressure, and declined month on month to 73.37/kg. Prices have followed a declining trend since July 2018. This trend in price decreases were reflected in the consumer price index, which measured that meat prices were 0.6% lower in September 2018 compared to during August of 2018.

· Very little rain with temperature extremes occurred since the second part of October over much of the country.

· Very little rain occurred over most of the Western and Eastern Cape in the last 2 to 3 weeks but very strong winds from a southern to south eastern direction increased the fire risk and fires with disastrous results occurred in some areas.

· Cheaper alternative proteins like pork and poultry are readily available and add a bearish tone to prices. Consumers are under pressure and some may not be willing to pay more for beef and sheep meat. This may result in a switch to other products. ABSA AGRI TRENDS