If the expectation of favourable weather conditions and generally large harvests holds for South Africa and the entire region, commodity prices could soften notably, which will bode well for food price inflation says agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo. Sihlobo says the recent rains have improved soil moisture, primarily in KwaZulu-Natal, the central and northern Eastern Cape, eastern Free State and parts of Mpumalanga, which helped accelerate planting activity, and that farmers have been encouraged by the favourable weather conditions.