The latest area forecast and third production forecast for summer crops was recently released by the Crop Estimates Committee, as well as the planting intentions for winter cereals.
The commercial maize area remains at 2,8 million hectares with the latest production forecast up 2,16% at almost 11 million tons. This is significantly higher than last year’s final harvest of 7,13 million tons. White and yellow commercial maize production forecasts are 6,53 million tons (+1,5%) and 4,47 million tons (+3,15%) respectively. The area for sunflower seed remained unchanged at 564 300ha, while production expectations are 2,18% higher at 785 880t. This is 261% higher than last year’s final crop of 300 000t. The 174 400ha planted to soya beans is expected to yield 302 250t, 1,68% higher than the previous forecast. Groundnuts are forecast to yield 82 185t from the 54 200ha planted to the crop. This represents a 1,9% increase over the second production forecast. Both sorghum and dry beans remained unchanged at an anticipated yield of 255 995t and 58 975t respectively. This season’s winter cereals intentions-to-plant report saw the area for commercial wheat forecast at 750 000ha – 18,7% more than last season’s 632 000ha. While current wheat prices are very favourable, it remains to be seen what the market and weather will do. Intentions to plant for both canola and malting barley are down 0,6% and 7,1% respectively at 33 000ha and 68 150ha. – David Steynberg