Southern Africa Food Security Alert: September 3, 2013

from Famine Early Warning System Network
Published on 03 Sep 2013 View Original

Tight cereal supplies and greater emergency food assistance needs expected

Drought in parts of southern Africa has reduced maize production and contributed to very high prices, resulting in pockets of acute food insecurity in Zimbabwe and Malawi. Although projected regional production issimilar to last year and above the five‐year average, a combination of lower surpluses and reduced carry‐overstocksin surplus‐producing countries means that less maize will be available for export within and outside the region this year. These tighter supplies, combined with persistent export demand from outside the region, will further increase prices over the 2013/14 consumption year. This situation could discourage private maize trade into deficit areas and complicate procurement efforts for humanitarian assistance within the region.

This year, maize harvests in South Africa – the region’s top surplus‐producing country – are 5 percent lower than the five‐year average and estimated maize export supplies are 32 percent lower than the five‐year average. In Zambia and Malawi, exportable surpluses are 46 and 76 percent lower than the five‐year average. Tanzania, the region’s second largest producer, is expected to have above‐average harvests, but higher prices in the Horn of Africa may discourage private trade flows from Tanzania into southern Africa.