Standard Bank_ Agribusiness Biweekly Insights: Field Crops Report (15 September 2023)

Field Crops


The 2023/24 domestic summer crop production season is fast approaching, and maize planting should kick off on 01 October in the eastern early-planting regions. With El Niño anticipated to continue through the Southern Hemisphere mid-summer to early-autumn (January to March 2024) at greater than 95% chance, the attention of the summer crop market has now shifted to the climatic endowment of the new season. In the second quarter of 2023 (Q2-2023), agricultural exports firmed by 0.3% year-on-year (y/y) and by 17% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) to US$3.374 billion. The main drivers of the quarterly expansion (exports that increased in value q/q) were citrus, pome, grains and products, avocados, wine, oilseeds and products, macadamia nuts, sugar, stone fruit, tobacco, cut flowers, and fruit jams. In absolute terms, the major exports in descending order were grains and products, pome fruit, citrus, avocados, wine, wool, oilseeds and products, avocados, sugar, grapes, macadamia nuts, stone fruit, beer, fruit jams and juices, and vegetables. In Q2-2023, the African continent continued to be the largest market for South Africa’s agricultural exports, absorbing 35.6% of total exports, followed by Asia (30%), Europe (27.4%), and America (6.2%).


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