WANDILE SIHLOBO: SA and Zambia able to replace global producers’ maize exports to neighbours
International Grains Council forecasts Kenya and Zimbabwe will require imports in 2020/2021
Some countries in the Southern and East Africa regions will again need large imports of maize in the 2020/2021 marketing year, which ends in April 2021. However, their saviours won’t be your typical major global producers such as Ukraine, the US or Brazil. Rather it is most likely to be SA and Zambia waiting in the wings.
In Southern Africa the recent data released by Zimbabwe’s department of lands & agriculture placed its 2019/2020 maize harvest at 907,628 tonnes, up 17% from the previous season. Nevertheless, this is below Zimbabwe’s 10-year average maize production of 1.1-million tonnes and annual domestic consumption needs of between 1.9-million and 2-million tonnes. The 2019/2020 production season corresponds with the 2020/2021 marketing year, which means Zimbabwe will still need to import about 1-million tonnes of maize to fulfill domestic needs in the 2020/2021 marketing year.