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I often use this column to present an update of domestic and regional food and agricultural production conditions. Earlier in 2018 I shared the positive outlook for SA’s summer and winter crop production. As farmers wind up the summer crop harvest process and winter crop planting approaches completion in the country, I think it’s appropriate to present an update again. This time around I have good and bad news. Starting with the good news, the major summer crop supplies such as maize and soya beans are in good shape thanks to good summer rainfall. To illustrate this, SA’s maize supplies could reach 16.7-million tonnes, well above the local demand of 10.8-million tonnes, according to data from the national supply and demand estimates committee. The maize supplies figure combines opening stocks and expected production. In addition, the 2018-19 soya bean supplies are estimated at 1.87-million tonnes, up 33% from the previous year. The figure includes the expected record production of 1...

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