Astral Foods, the JSE’s biggest poultry producer, issued a dour trading update on Tuesday, warning of “significantly lower" 2019 first-quarter profit. Lower consumer demand and a higher maize price, which is a key production input in the poultry sector, look set to hamper Astral’s profitability in the first half of the 2019 financial year. Astral's share price rose 0.65% to R157.50 by 3.15pm, but independent analyst Anthony Clark said he still expected some price negativity with a dose of “maize and poultry reality” setting in. He said the recent rally in Astral’s share price, which has risen more than 8% since January 28, was unjustified based on “on-the-ground” maize fundamentals. “Astral Foods has had an 8% run the past weeks on the first Crop Estimate Committee report on maize hectares planted. That report was flawed and overly optimistic because late-planting had prejudiced the numbers.” Clark said the late-February first production report and later reports (due to late planti...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.