Increased plantings and adequate rainfall boost macadamia production in 2018

15 October 2018

The increased plantings and adequate rainfall has boosted macadamia production in 2018, with an estimated crop of between 51 492 and 52 412 tons NIS at 1.5% kernel moisture content. The 2018 crop is a significant improvement on the previous two season’s crops of 38 000 and 44610 tons for 2016 and 2017 respectively, which were severely reduced due to a drought period. The macadamia industry is expected to expand over the next couple of years, due to an increase in plantings over the past few years, and these plantings now coming into production. Producers are currently continuing to plant more hectares to macadamias, with new plantings also substituting other crops such as sugar cane, citrus, bananas and timber. There is already an estimated 32 500ha established in South Africa.



  • The local 2017/18 wheat import season closed with cumulative 2.177.232 million tons imported wheat, with Russian origin making up 44% of the imports.
  • New imports for the 2018/19 season, for the week ending 5 October 2018, was 4,576 tons all from Russia
  • South African maize prices were lower, pressured by a slightly stronger Rand and lower US maize prices. The market will be focusing on weather now, as the summer growing areas, planting season is commencing soon.


  • Compared to a year ago the national volumes of onions at the FPM have increased significantly. There is approximately 900 000 bags of onions available now that needs to be marketed. The abundant stocks is expected to subdue prices for the next 2-4 weeks. In 2017, prices at the same time last year were on average R50-R60/bag now prices are on average trading at R26-R34/10kg bag. The Johannesburg market was flooded with a record volume on the morning of the 12th October 2018. The large stocks originate from the Limpopo area. The producers in that area are in the process of aggressively marketing the last of their stock. Weather is very critical in Limpopo right now. It is a period between rainfall and very hot temperatures. If the onions are rained on and then are exposed to extreme hot conditions they will perish rapidly, that is why we now see a major influx of produce in the market and expect it to continue for the next 2-4 weeks.
  • Potato prices were higher week on week due to lower volumes delivered nationally. The largest producing region Limpopo is currently the main region delivering. With sporadic deliveries from the Coast and the Sandveld. Prices are supported by very good quality products, which is sold quite easily due to sustained demand. For the past two weeks potato prices have been rising, market will wait to see how the mid-month slump affects the fresh produce market in the next week. The increase in the cost of living (fuel, electricity, taxes) are expected to keep consumer demand for luxurious goods subdued. We expect people to consume more home cooked meals and less take-outs, which will support fresh produce commodities.


  • The average hide price this week softened, and decreased when compared to the previous week. The hide market remain under pressure. The average hide price was 2.6% lower w/w at R5.0/kg green. Whilst the better grades find a place in the market; the lower grade materials have not yet found a price point. Overall, the hide market sentiment remains bearish, in line with the weak international hide market. NB* Hide prices are determined by the average of the RMAA (Red Meat Abattoir Association) and independent companies.
  • During August 2018, an estimated 211 951 head of cattle were slaughtered. This is 0.8% fewer head of cattle slaughtered month on month, and 11% less cattle slaughtered compared to the same time a year ago. Cattle slaughter numbers in 2018 are lower due to the herd rebuilding process that is underway.
  • Pasture conditions may improve should seasonal rains materialize sooner.
  • Beef prices may be supported by better demand that comes with the approaching warmer conditions. Warmer temperatures normally encourage outdoor grilling.

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.