Agri Trends Farming- Agriculture 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.



· There’s been an improvement in the weather forecast for the latter part of November. Rainfall probability has improvement from last week of November to January 2019. The central and eastern parts of the country are at risk of receiving below average rainfall which may potentially lead to below average maize/soybean yields and poor grazing conditions.

· Farmers in the western parts of the country experienced some delays in maize planting due to drier weather, however there is still optimal planting time till December.

· The weekly SA maize exports for the week ending 16 November 2018 were 8,828 tons white maize and 4,870 tons yellow maize. This brings cumulative maize exports for the season to date at 1,594,980 million tons.

· Local maize prices came under pressure due to lower US maize prices weighing on the domestic market.

· Above average wheat crop yields are expected in some parts of the Western Cape, thanks to good rainfalls received during the winter rainfall period. The harvest process is underway and gaining momentum. Weather remains favourable for the harvest process, supporting deliveries. Producer deliveries are starting to gain momentum, 253,803 tons were delivered for the week ending 16 November 2018, sparking some selling interest.

Weather conditions in the other wheat growing provinces in South Africa (NC, EC, Limpopo and Free State) supporting the wheat crop production estimates.

 Weather forecasts seem negative, with minimal rainfall expected in the central and western summer rainfall regions until mid-November. It is possible that a drier situation may exists over the western parts of the country compared to initial forecasts with negative forecast due to the expected effects of El Nino later in the season. Probable drier weather conditions (lower rainfall and higher temperatures) in the late 2018 and early 2019 period could have negative effect on soybean output.

Due to drier and hot weather conditions in the past few weeks, sunflower seed crops could not be planted during the optimal planting period. In the next couple of days/weeks until January 2019, sunflower seed growing areas could receive beneficial rains which will support planting intentions in the North West and Free State.


The average hide price this week continued to decline when compared to the previous week. The average hide price was 4% lower w/w at R4.15/kg green. In general the hide market remains under pressure and has followed a downward trend over the past months. There are risks of further decreases in the next few weeks. The market for the middle/low grades is under severe pressure. The situation remains negative; unlike the crises in 2008 which was related to the global financial situation; this market situation is a result of the fundamentals behind leather – prices and consumer choices have led to the situation of supply exceeding demand. The orders for leather (show, automotive and upholstery) are all down on previous seasons coupled with high slaughter figures in the US, Brazil and Australia. Overall, the hide market sentiment is bearish, in line with the weak international hide market. NB* Hide prices are determined by the average of the RMAA (Red Meat Abattoir Association) and independent companies.

Short term forecasts are positive for rainfall to commence in the last week of November as well as December and parts of January with even heavy falls possible over the eastern areas like KZN and Mpumalanga, according to weather forecasts.

 Pasture conditions may improve should seasonal rains materialise sooner.

Livestock prices were bearish over the past week because of lack of demand during mid-month. However, prices are expected to strengthen in the short term in line with seasonal trends and improved demand into the festive season. AGRI TRENDS ABSA South Africa