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Optimistic outlook for agriculture, says FNB’s Paul Makube

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Paul Makube is Senior Agricultural economist at FNB Agri-Business

The latest forecast released by South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) points to a somewhat optimistic outlook for the agricultural sector as seasonal conditions turned positive.The current estimates point to a sharp recovery in output of summer crops with the total maize planted area coming in up 10% year-on-year (year-on-year) at 2.54 million hectares (ha) and a potential 13.64 million tonnes using an average of 5.4 tonnes per ha for a relatively good season.

Not only is this positive from a GDP perspective, the estimated supplies may help tame food inflation which has been relatively contained below 3% for the better part of 2019.

The 2019/20 agriculture production season began on a negative note with delays in Spring rains and concerns over the weather outlook as forecasts indicated potential dryness across the board.
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