South Africa will this week receive an updated forecast of this year's maize harvest when the crop estimates committee releases its second report of the season. The maize price has plummeted on expectations of a bumper crop and hopes that fall armyworm has not had a significant effect. The monthly update, due for release on Tuesday, comes as the agriculture industry appears to be in better shape than two years ago when it was hit hard by drought, which reduced crop production and led to higher food price inflation. The impact was very deep, with depleted natural grazing forcing farmers to slaughter livestock as the cost of feed escalated. Demand for agricultural machinery such as tractors and fertiliser suffered, affecting suppliers. The low grain volumes also affected companies that handle silo operations, notably Senwes.

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