South Africa has kept to all prior predictions and has registered a record harvest season with the total grain and oilseed crop of 18.91 million tons, which is up 101% year-on-year. The estimate for the maize crop in particular came in at an all-time high of 16.41 million tons, which is comprised of 59% yellow and 41% white maize.
The winter rains however have not retained the momentum; The Western Cape is still grappling with persistent drought conditions.
“Weather is critical for price direction going forward with the Western Cape still not out of the woods and the rainfall outlook still pointing to minimal rainfall for the wheat areas in South Africa. The crop has entered a critical stage of development and more moisture is needed for a good crop,” says Paul Makube, Agricultural Economist at FNB.
The short term rainfall outlook shows limited chance of receiving rain in the grain areas in South Africa. The medium outlook shows an improvement in the rainfall expectations, particularly for Mpumalanga and KZN whose optimal planting dates for maize are fast approaching from the 1st October to the 15th and 30th of November respectively.
That said, all indications are that we are likely to have a largely normal rainfall season as the El-Nino prospects that had been noted at the beginning of the year have diminished.
“Apart from the Western Cape water crisis, we still expect a normal rainfall pattern for the rest of the country and therefore there should not be major worries about the late onset of summer rains this year. The season is off to a slow start, but we should see a far more normal season this year,” concludes Makube.