The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lifted its estimate of South Africa’s maize production by 3% from last month to a record level of 17.15 million tonnes.
Highlights in today’s morning note
It is worth noting that USDA’s crop estimate is not directly comparable to the South African Crop Estimate Committee’s figures due to two basic reasons: (1) the marketing years are different, (2) the USDA estimates the overall national maize production, while the Crop Estimate Committee focuses only on commercial maize production. Differences aside, both agencies are painting an optimistic picture for South Africa’s maize supplies this year.
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Although the short term weather forecasts present a possibility of continued dryness, the long term forecasts show some improvements with the possibility of showers of between 16 and 35 millimetres in the week ending 28 September 2017. This will not be sufficient to replenish soil moisture but will be a welcome relief.
The relatively weaker Rand against the US Dollar did less to support the domestic soybean market in yesterday’s trade session. The market remained under pressure throughout the day with bearish sentiment emanating from the lower Chicago soybean prices and an increased domestic selling.
There is not much happening in the fields as it is an off season period and this week’s domestic sunflower seed calendar is light with no major data releases. As a result, the market will most likely be driven by the domestic currency movements and traded volumes in the local market.
The South African potatoes market lost ground in yesterday’s trade session with the price down by 2% from the previous day, closing at R38.08 per pocket (10kg). These losses were partly on the back of relatively large stocks of 708 221 pockets (10kg bag) at the start of the session.
The fruit market ended the day mixed in yesterday’s trade session. The prices of apples and oranges were up by 3% and 5% from the previous day, closing at R7.46 per kilogramme and R3.52 per kilogramme, respectively. Meanwhile, the prices of bananas fell by 9% from the previous day, closing at R5.34 per kilogramme.