Agri Business

Bigger maize harvest expected for SA

Farmers will likely harvest 12,82 million tons of maize in 2018, which is nearly 3% higher than the previous estimate, released in March.

According to the third production forecasts recently released by the National Crop Estimate Committee, most summer crop production estimates were revised up from previous levels, with the exception of dry beans. The production forecast for sorghum and groundnuts remained unchanged.

Production for sunflower seed is estimated to be 792 255  tons, which is 5,75% higher than the March estimate, while that of soya bean is estimated to be 1,43 million tons, which is 2,55% higher than the last estimate.

In the case of dry beans, the production is estimated at 65 610 tons, which is 3,81%  less than the 68 210 tons of the previous forecast.

According to Agbiz economist Wandile Sihlobo, South Africa’s maize market will be well supplied in the 2018/2019 marketing year which started on 1 May 2018.

“This marketing year will open with a large carryover stock of about 4,1 million tons, which will add to the expected large harvest.”

This is 22% more than the roughly 10,5 million tons South Africa typically consumes per year. Shilobo added that this is partially why prices have remained at the current lower levels.

For the winter cereal crops, early indications are that producers intend to plant 500 500ha of wheat for the 2018 production season. This is 1,81% or 8 900ha more than 491 600ha planted to wheat in 2017.

According to Sihlobo, the weather remains a key focus in the local wheat market as the planting period approaches. However, he is optimistic about the upcoming production season, saying that it promises to be better than the last.

“While rainfall could be delayed, there is a bit of optimism following South African Weather Services’ view that parts of the south-western regions of the country could receive above-normal rainfall between the end of April and June.”

Source: Farmer’s Weekly

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