Current data and future predictions of grain and wheat imports/exports

Wandile Sihlobo, SA Grain economist, discusses South Africa’s grain and wheat import/export markets.

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South Africa’s total maize imports for the week ending 22 April 2016 was 46 201t, with yellow maize imported from Argentina constituting 70%, and white maize imported from the US constituting the remaining 30%.

South Africa’s 2015/16 total maize import currently totals 1,83 million tons, with white maize constituting 95%, and yellow maize the remaining 5%. The upcoming weekend (30-31 April) is the last of the 2015/16 marketing year.

Grain SA estimates that South Africa’s total maize import for the 2016/17 will amount to 3,8 million tons, with 2,7 million tons yellow maize and 1,1 million tons white maize.

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The import increase is due to anticipated low production, due to the current drought. The National Crop Estimates Committee forecasts South Africa’s 2016 total maize production at 7,1 million tons, 28% lower than 2015’s harvest, which was already 30% lower than the 2014 harvest.

The National Crop Estimate Committee will release its fourth production estimate this afternoon (29 April) at 15h30, and market participants expect a downward revision of the maize crop to a range of 6,7 million and 7,0 million tons.

South Africa continues to export maize to regional markets in Africa. The country’s total maize export for the week ending 22 April 2016, recorded at 11 985t (75% white maize and 15% yellow maize), was exported to African markets.

South Africa’s 2015/16 total maize exports currently totals 667 445t (32% yellow maize and 68% white maize). Grain SA forecasts South Africa’s total maize exports for the 2016/17 (May 2016-April 2017) season to total 630 000t. All exports are expected to go to regional markets.

South Africa’s Wheat Weekly Trade Data
South Africa’s wheat imports for the week ending 22 April 2015 totalled 67 496t (73% from Poland, 15% from Argentina, and 12% from Russia). South Africa’s total wheat imports for 2015/16 totals 1,18 million tons.

South Africa is a net importer of wheat, and imports roughly 60% of its annual consumption. Grain SA’s estimate for South Africa’s 2015/16 wheat import is 2 million tons.