An Improvement in SA Summer Crop Production Estimates

South Africa is in for a fairly good harvest in 2017/18 production season. This was confirmed by the third production forecasts released by the National Crop Estimate Committee this afternoon. All summer crop production estimates were revised up from previous month’s levels, with the exception of dry beans.

This bodes well for trade and food inflation dynamics, as production volumes of major crops such as maize are set to be well above domestic consumption needs. 

Commercial maize production estimate was lifted by 3 percent from last month to 12.8 million tonnes. Of this, 6.6 million tonnes are white maize, with yellow maize at 6.2 million tonnes.

Considering the domestic annual maize need of roughly 10.5 million tonnes, at the back of expected 12.8 million tonnes of production, coupled with a carryover stock of 4.1 million tonnes, South Africa could see exports exceeding 2.2 million tonnes in the 2018/19 marketing year which starts on 01 May 2018.

More detail on this subject in the next blog entries…

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Author: Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa. He is a columnist for Business Day and Farmers Weekly magazine. Sihlobo is a member of the South African Agricultural Economics Association. He has previously served as an economist at Grain South Africa. He holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University.

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