Agri Trends – 09 March 2018 – Grains, oilseeds & vegetables

Holy Guacamole! You had me at “Avocado”

The demand for avocado outstrips the ability of the industry to ramp up production and to meet the global demand with sufficient supply.  The lack of sufficient breeding stock underpins the price levels for avocado. This trend will most likely support a growing market, which encourages growers to invest in expanding production.  However, agricultural land with sufficient water that meets the requirements for high yields and delivery during the best priced marketing windows overseas is limited.  Forestry land under Bloekom production and fields under sugar cane falls prey to new developments and the establishment of avocado orchards increase in both the Eastern and Western Cape provinces.  South Africa grows about 17 500ha of avocados.  The 2015/2016 drought negatively affected avocado yields in 2017, which resulted in lower-than-average production levels. Moreover, as 2017 was an off-season, which usually tends to deliver lower yields, production declined even further. Harvesting for the current season just started. It will be an interesting season to track and see if actual exports for 2018 meet the expectations of the avocado industry.



  • White and yellow maize prices remain bullish irrespective of large stocks, causing lower export activity. A large maize crop is in production. Favourable weather outlook and the volatility of the Rand will remain particular focus areas, impacting the market.
  • The lower tariff of R394.90/ton still pending publication will have a negative effect on the producers during their optimal planting time.


  • Improving weather conditions are raising the soybean crop production prospects. Anticipation for South Africa to produce another bumper crop in 2018 of 1.3 million tons, 4.46% higher than the previous season’s harvest.
  • Due to production failures in Argentina, soymeal prices still trading fairly high. South Africa is a net importer of soymeal/cake, weaker Rand makes it more expensive for imports.


  • Pepper prices drop 24% w/w

Poorer quality produce delivered, and marginal decline in volumes due to lower demand have steered this trend for the week of February 2018 and 1st 2 weeks of March 2018.

  • Carrots were the biggest gainer of the Top 5 vegetables in the Top 5 FPM for the week ending 09 March 2018. The 50% price gain stemmed from a 39% decline in volumes delivered.
  • Potato prices higher week on week

Lower volumes available (33% decline week on week), at the Top 5 FPM lead to a 7% increase in the potato market. Prices are currently trading at R25 per 7kg bag compared to R23.8/bag last week. Prices expected to remain trading at R25/bag-R27/bag for the next 2 weeks.

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Published on Thu, 22nd Mar 2018 - 08:17