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  • John Deere has welcomed the R3.7billion allocation announced in the 2019 Budget Speech to assist emerging black farmers in acquiring land and title deeds, which it believes will complement the proposed blended finance model and assist in building a more inclusive agricultural sector for the benefit of all South Africans.

  • We rarely explore developments in Mozambique’s agricultural sector as the country is not a key contributor to Southern Africa’s staple foods production such as maize, sorghum and wheat. But the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai meant that Mozambique should not be overlooked this year due to possible food needs over the coming months.

  • It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” This opening line from the Charles Dickens novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” could also be used to describe the current state of the organic grain industry. Demand for organic grain-based products has never been greater, particularly in the U.S. and Western Europe, but a recent wave of negative publicity may hamper efforts to expand production and strengthen the public’s trust.

  • March 2019 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided further evidence that the world will have fairly large maize, soybean, and rice supplies in the 2018/19 season. Meanwhile, wheat production could decline from levels seen in the 2017/18 season.

  • The members of the Grain Handling Organisation of Southern Africa (GOSA) effectively handled 17,5 million tons of grain – produced locally and imported – during the past season.

  • The growing emphasis that agriculture should be amongst the key sectors driving the South African economy and job creation has mainly leaned on potential expansion in hectares of labour-intensive, and globally sought-after horticulture products, as well as traditional grains and oilseeds.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in its April 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, raised from March its forecast carryover of wheat and corn but slightly lowered its soybean forecast.

  • Prices for organic food-grade hard red spring wheat, hard red winter wheat and durum in the February-March period advanced from quoted prior reporting periods and from year-ago levels, as did organic soybean values, according to Mercaris, the organic and non-GMO trading platform and market information company.

  • Total world grain production is expected to increase 2% in 2019-20 to a total of 2.178 billion tonnes, according to the International Grains Council’s (IGC) Grain Market Report issued on April 25.

    Larger harvests are expected in wheat, up 26 million tonnes; corn, up 6 million tonnes and barley, up 8 million tonnes. However, with opening stocks the smallest in three seasons, availabilities will be only slightly higher, the IGC said.


    The outlook for soybean production in 2019-20 increased by 2 million tonnes month-over-month, to 361 million tonnes.

    Increases for food, feed and industrial uses are expected to increase total consumption to a new high of 2.201 billion tonnes.

    “Amid record demand and only a minor supply expansion, a third successive depletion of global stocks is predicted, to a five-year low of 588 million tonnes,” IGC said. “Little change in trade is projected as larger wheat shipments are balanced by a fall for maize.”

    For 2018-19, IGC increased its forecast for total production by 3 million tonnes to 2.128 billion tonnes. The change was attributed to increases in corn in Argentina and Brazil. However, total grains production is still down 13 million tonnes year-over-year.

    Soybean output increased 3 million tonnes month-over-month to a record 362 million tonnes, mostly because of improved prospects in South America.

    Grains consumption was lowered 5 million tonnes month-over-month to 2.165 million tonnes. Most of the adjustment was seen in feed and industrial corn use in the U.S.

    Grain stocks are expected to be 611 million tonnes, a drop of 36 million tonnes year-over-year.

    “Grains trade is expected to match the season before, as the 10th consecutive rise for maize compensates for smaller shipments of wheat, barley and sorghum,” IGC said.

  • AFGRI, one of the continent’s leading agricultural services company with core competencies to enhance, support and guide the growth of agricultural enterprises, will be at NAMPO again this year, using the unique opportunity that Africa’s foremost agricultural event offers to showcase some of the enhancements that have taken place across the business in the past 12 months.

  • The South African agricultural sector has been facing severe headwinds over the past few years. It came in the form of policy uncertainty, drought in large parts of the country, devastating disease outbreaks, infrastructure constraints and persistent non-tariff barriers and other trade-related problems.

  • Zimbabwe ‘s Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister, Vangelis Haritatos is confident the country is still in a safer position in terms of food security, despite the El Nino induced drought that affected almost nine countries across the SADC region, including Zimbabwe.

  • The resumption of U.S. soybean sales to China has helped to buoy the market in oilseeds, although traders warn that uncertainties remain. At the same time, a developing row between Canada and China threatens to divert trade flows in rapeseed. China’s demand for soybeans has been hit by a fall in demand for meal as the country’s hog herd is affected by African swine fever.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture on June 11 forecast the carryover of wheat on June 1, 2020, at 1.072 billion bushels, down 69 million bushels from the May outlook and down 30 million bushels from a downwardly revised 1.102 billion bushels in 2018-19 (the 25-million-bushel decline in the 2019 carryover reflected a 25-million-bushel hike in estimated 2018-19 exports to 950 million bushels). As forecast, the 2020 wheat carryover would be the smallest since 976 million bushels in 2016 and compare with 1.022 billion bushels as the recent five-year average carryover.

  • Estimates for global grain production for 2019-20 dropped by 21 million tonnes from the previous month largely due to a slow start to U.S. corn plantings, the International Grains Council (IGC) said on June 27.

  •  Ukrainian farmers have harvested 6.1 million tonnes of grain from an area of 1.9 million hectares, the press service of the Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry of Ukraine reported on July 3.

  • The Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation has put forth a long-term strategy that could ramp up investment in the country’s grain sector by investing billions of dollars in infrastructure and logistics.

  •  Strategie Grains has revised its forecast higher for European Union soft wheat production and exports based on strong harvest expectations in France and Britain as well as increasingly competitive E.U. export prices.

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