Spotlight on domestic maize market - South Africa

A large share of the 2017/18 maize crop has already been delivered to commercial silos, hence the weekly producer deliveries have slowed in the recent weeks. In the week of 05 October 2018, maize producer deliveries amounted to 31 986 tonnes, down by 62 percent from the previous week. About 55 percent of this was white maize, with 45 percent being yellow maize. 

- This placed South Africa’s maize producer deliveries at 11.2 million tonnes, which equates to 87 percent of the 12.9 million tonnes harvest for the 2017/18 production season. The yields in most areas largely varied between average and above average.

- Today the focus will be on the weekly grain trade data which is due for release at midday. South Africa exported a mere 15 556 tonnes of maize in the week of 28 September 2018, well below the previous week’ volume of 87 415 tonnes due to softer demand in the traditional market. This, nonetheless, placed South Africa’s 2018/19 maize exports at 1.3 million tonnes, which equates to 60 percent of the seasonal export.

- In the evening, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release an update of its estimates for South Africa’s 2018/19 maize production – a production season that opened at the beginning of this month. In September 2018, the agency placed its preliminary estimate at 13.0 million tonnes (commercial and non-commercial production), down 6 percent from the previous season.

- This is likely to be revised down due to prospects of an El Niño weather event, which the Australian Bureau of Meteorology placed the probability of it developing this year at 70 percent.



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