Agricultural Market Viewpoint 8 April 2019

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Agricultural Market Viewpoint 8 April 2019

  • The changing perceptions about cannabis around the globe, and its growing value raises a question of whether South Africa should put concerted effort into research on this crop so that policymakers can better assess if its production benefits could be balanced by measures to mitigate unintended consequences.
  • From a data perspective, in March 2019 the International Grains Council kept its estimate for South Africa’s 2018/19 maize production unchanged from the previous month at 10.7 million tonnes. This is down by 14% from the 2017 /18 harvest due to a reduction in area planted and expected poor yields in some areas, but marginally higher than the Crop Estimates Committee’s (CEC) estimate for the 2018/19 production season. While this is a welcome development, we remain concerned about maize yield expectations in the western parts of South Africa owing to dryness experienced in February and March.
  • South Africa’s weekly grain trade data is due for release on Thursday, 11 April 2019. This will mainly be maize and wheat. In terms of maize, we expect South Africa to be a net exporter in 2018/19 and 2019/20 marketing years, with about 2.3 million tonnes (white and yellow maize) and 1.1 million tonnes, respectively.
  • In terms of wheat, South Africa could remain a net importer in 2018/19 marketing year, but imports could fall by 36% year-on-year decline to 1.4 million tonnes.

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