Maize surplus remains unchanged

South Africa’s maize SURPLUS remains at 4 million tons, according to Grain SA chairperson Neels Ferreira. The November crop estimate by the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) put the size of the commercial maize crop for the 2009/10 season 228 000t, or 1,8%, higher than the final crop production figure of 12,815 million tons.

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Agricultural Business Chamber CEO Dr John Purchase said, “A major problem facing the broader maize industry is the dire lack of market development, both locally and abroad, to absorb this surplus production. South African genetically modified maize limits entry to new and international markets.

The international maize market is shifting to the Middle and Far East as African countries become self-sufficient. It remains an open question whether South Africa will be able to supply these markets on a long-term and sustainable basis.”

In the case of commercial soya beans and groundnuts, the CEC estimated these crops lower by 0,9% (560 950t) and 0,1% (87 880t), respectively. With commercial sunflower seed and sorghum, the crops were over-estimated by 5,4% (516 265t) and 12% (220 093t), respectively.

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Meanwhile, Grain SA reports that rain is falling sporadically in the summer grain production area. Producers in the western North West (Setlagole and Delareyville) have just started planting, while 30% of the hectares in the eastern North West (Coligny, Lichtenburg) have been planted.

In Mpumalanga’s Delmas/Bronkhorspruit district, 75% of plantings are completed, with 80% completed in the Middelburg/Standerton district, and 95% in KwaZulu-Natal. In the north-west Free State (Viljoenskroon, Wesselsbron) 30% has been planted.