How badly the Western Cape’s drought has hurt JSE-listed food producers remains in focus on Thursday, with Kaap Agri and Quantum Foods releasing results. Another health check on SA’s farms will also be provided when Statistics SA releases October’s producer price index (PPI) at 11.30am. Farm and factory gate inflation, as measured by the annual change in PPI, is expected to have accelerated slightly to 6.3% in October from 6.2% in September. On Wednesday Crookes Brothers’ share price fell 6.7% to R42 after it opted not to pay an interim dividend for the first half of its 2019 financial year. The agricultural group paid a 35c dividend in the matching period, but halted dividends in the second half of its 2018 financial year. Crookes Brothers reported that its deciduous fruits division fell into an operating loss of R8.3m from a profit of R1.7m. “The Western Cape has experienced debilitating drought conditions and results in the deciduous operations reflect the resultant poor yields a...

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