Spotlight on the maize market

South African Agricultural Commodities Weekly Wrap
August 3, 2018
South African tractor sales grew by 5% y/y in July 2018
August 7, 2018

Spotlight on the maize market

maize production
  • The data calendar this week is quite light. On the domestic front, we have the weekly maize trade and deliveries data. The favourable weather conditions in the past couple of weeks provided conducive conditions for the harvest process. This is reflected in the volumes of maize delivered to commercial silos which amounted to 813 814 tonnes in the week of 27 July 2018. This placed total maize deliveries at 7.5 million tonnes, which equates to 57 percent of the estimated harvest. This week’s data will show an update for the week of 03 August 2018.
  • In terms of trade, South Africa exported 128 013 tonnes of maize in the week of 27 July 2018, up by 70 percent from levels seen in the previous week. About 96 percent was yellow maize, with 4 percent being white maize. The leading buyer was Japan with a share of 39 percent. Trailing Japan was Italy and Vietnam with shares of 30 and 20 percent, respectively. The rest went to regional markets. Overall, this placed South Africa’s 2018/19 maize exports at 838 925 tonnes, which equates to 40 percent of the seasonal export forecast.
  • On the global front, the USDA will start the week with the US crop progress report and end with the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. In the week of 29 July 2018, about 72 percent of the US maize crop was rated good or excellent, which is far better than a 63 percent rating at the same time last year. The improvement is mainly on the back of favourable weather conditions since the start of the season. This week could bring rainfall in most parts of the US Midwest, which should keep the crop in good condition.
  • Last month, the USDA placed 2018/19 global maize production estimate at 1.05 billion tonnes, slightly up from the previous month and 2 percent higher than the previous season. This month’s data could remain unchanged from July 2018.
  • Aside from the maize market, the dam levels have improved significantly in the Western Cape province, thanks to the recent rainfall (see Figure 1 below).

 

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