Dr. Frikkie Maré, agricultural economist at the University of the Free State (UFS) gives his monthly market overview of agricultural commodity markets.
The price of yellow maize strengthened during April and closed at R2 148/ton.
The Rand weakened against major currencies during the month of April. By the end of April, the Rand traded for R12.47 against the Dollar and R15.05 against the Euro. Both CPI (consumer price inflation) and PPI (producer price inflation) slowed down in March to 3.8% and 3.7% respectively. The economic growth for the fourth term of 2017, represented by the GDP, increased by 1.5% year-on- year. As was the case in the third term, agriculture made a major positive contribution to economic growth.
Red meat market
The price of B and C grade beef decreased during April, while the price of A grade beef moved sideways. The lowest available prices during April were R47.10/kg for A2, R41.74/kg for B2 and R40.56/kg for C2. In the case of mutton, the price of A grade decreased while the prices for B and C grade strengthened. The prices were R33.52/kg and R40.83/kg respectively. The price of hides and Merino skins decreased, while the price for Dorper skins moved sideways.
Wool and mohair market
The indicator price for clean wool strengthened during April. At the last auction in April the indicator gained 4.1% compared to the previous auction and 12% compared to the same time in 2017. The indicator price for mohair increased sharply in April and traded 5% higher compared to the previous auction and 28.4% higher than the previous year.
The producer price index for milk and eggs, as well as the index for dairy products decreased in April. The consumer price index for milk, eggs and cheese showed a sharp decrease during the same period.