South African Agricultural Commodities Wrap

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The 2018/19 summer crop production season started on a positive footing with forecast showers in most parts of the country in the week of 20 October 2018. This will help improve soil moisture which will be beneficial for the planting activity.

- The optimal window for maize and soybean planting opened this week in the eastern and central parts of the country and will run until the end of November in the case of maize, and beginning of December for soybeans. It is still unclear what the season will turn out to be; we will get a clearer guidance later this month when the Crop Estimate Committee releases its data on ‘farmers intentions to plant’.

- The major risk in the near term is the forecast El Niño, but we are also waiting for an update about its development from the weather forecasters this month end. Aside from this, it was a fairly quiet week in the South African market with no major data releases.

- The SAFEX beef carcass market experienced a quiet week with prices unchanged from levels seen last week. In terms of the supply, the South African farmers slaughtered 211 951 head of cattle in August 2018, down by 11 percent from August 2017 due to the herd rebuilding process after a reduction during the 2015-16 drought. AGBIZ