Sihlobo refers to the possibility that if the maize crop in the United States of America (USA) was at an advanced stage of growth, the latest report by the country’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) would have convinced that supplies will be in better shape than initially feared. He says the USDA last week, lifted its estimate for maize production by 1% from June 2019 to 352 million tonnes. This improvement, coupled with an uptick of the Black Sea’s production estimates led to a 1% increase in the 2019/20 global maize production estimate to 1.1 billion tonnes. This would, however, still be 2% less than the 2018/19 harvest. He says the crop is not yet at an advanced stage of development, and the production estimates could change notably in next month’s update report. On 7 July 2019, only 8% of the country’s maize crop was at the silking stage of growth, compared to 34% in the corresponding week in 2018, and a five-year average of 22%. This is a result of late plantings in most parts of the US due to excessive wet weather conditions in the past few weeks.
Here is Sihlobo…
That was Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist at the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa, Agbiz.