It is highly unlikely that maize prices will decline, despite industry stakeholders forecasting a record harvest this season.
According to Jannie de Villiers, CEO of Grain SA, maize prices were currently already on export parity.
“Therefore, higher maize estimates will necessarily lead to more [income] for our farmers.”
De Villiers said he was also very positive about the possibility of exports for farmers due to high international demand for maize.
The Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) released its fourth production forecast for summer crops for the 2021/2022 season on Tuesday, 1 June.
The size of the commercial maize crop was set at 16,18 million tons, which was 0,5% or 84 750t higher than the previous forecast of 16,09 million tons. The area estimate for maize was 2,75 million hectares or 6% larger than the previous crop, with an expected yield of 5,87t/ha.
Currently, the area estimate for white maize was 1,69 million hectares and 1,06 million hectares for yellow maize.
The production forecast for white maize was 8,98 million tons (an increase of 0,54% or 48 500t). The average yield for white maize was estimated at 5,31t/ha. In the case of yellow maize, the production forecast was 7,91 million tons (an increase of 0,51% or 36 250t). The average yield of yellow maize was estimated at 6,77t/ha.
De Villiers said Grain SA was also pleasantly surprised by the estimated increase in soya bean production.
The CEC estimated that South Africa would harvest 1,91 million tons of soya bean. An estimated 827 200ha were planted. This was an increase of 6,94% from the previous estimate of 1,79 million tons. The estimated yield was 2,32 t/ha. In 2020, South Africa harvested 1,24 million tons of soya bean.
The production forecast for sunflower seed was 716 240t, which was 2,87% or 19 950t more than the 696 290t of the previous forecast. The area estimate for sunflower seed was 477 800 ha, while the expected yield was 1,5 t/ha. Last year, South Africa harvested 788 500t of sunflower seeds.
The CEC was expecting a groundnut crop of around 57 900t, with an area estimate of 38 550ha and an expected yield of 1,5t/ha. Last year the country harvested 50 080t of groundnuts.
In terms of sorghum production, it was expected that South Africa would harvest 195 035t. This was 2,71% or 5 150t higher than the previous estimate. Last year, South Africa harvested 158 000t of sorghum.
In the case of dry beans, the production forecast remained unchanged at 56 577t.