May diesel price drop to provide relief to farmers

South Africa’s farmers affected by the R1,24/l increase in the wholesale price of diesel in April will get some relief in May when the price drops again.

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Expectations are that the diesel price will decrease by 17c/l in early May, saving maize farmers approximately R4,08/ha being harvested and delivered to a silo.

SA’s maize producers typically used about 24l/ha of diesel during harvesting and grain transport, said Grain SA’s research co-ordinator and production cost analyst Petru Fourie.

“A decline in fuel costs could lower other production costs, such as of fertiliser and seed,” she said.

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Farmers planting winter crops, such as wheat, would also benefit from the fuel price decrease.

Fourie added that farmers feeling despondent about the recent diesel price increase should be aware that there had been a 15,6% decrease in the year-on-year April 2014 to April 2015 diesel price. This had saved the country’s crop farmers approximately R680 million collectively in production costs.