Southern Africa Regional Maize Supply and Market Outlook: September 11, 2019
The Regional Supply and Market Outlook report provides a summary of regional staple food availability, surpluses and deficits during the current marketing year, projected price behavior, implications for local and regional commodity procurement, and essential market monitoring indicators. To learn more about typical market conditions in Southern Africa, readers are invited to explore the Southern Africa Regional Maize Market Fundamentals Summary.
The Southern Africa region, which is typically self-sufficient in maize, will have a below-average net maize supply in the 2019/20 marketing year. This supply will also be lower than that of the 2018/19 marketing year. The region is expected to register a net maize supply of 100,000 MT, which is less than a tenth of the five-year average net supply. This is the lowest that supplies have been since the 2016/17 marketing year when supplies were exceptionally low as a result of El Niño conditions.
The region’s 2019 maize harvest was 10 percent below average due to an unusual dichotomy of severe drought, cyclones, and flooding experienced during the 2018/19 agricultural season. Most countries are likely to post maize deficits while a few will register minor surpluses in the 2019/20 marketing year. South Africa and Zambia, the two key maize producing countries in the region have seen maize harvest declines of 9 percent and 32 percent respectively compared to their respective five-year averages.
Due to tighter than normal regional maize supplies this marketing year, the region will need imports to satisfy national requirements among structurally maize deficit countries. Atypically large imports of maize grain from international markets are likely to flow into South Africa and Zimbabwe.
In terms of intra-regional trade, South Africa’s maize export volumes to Zimbabwe are likely to be above average to meet these countries national requirements in the upcoming marketing year. Due to a reduced harvest, atypically low volumes of maize are expected to flow from Zambia to neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Haut-Katanga in DRC. Although Tanzania is expecting an above-average surplus, the bulk of its exports are likely to be destined for Kenya while a small proportion likely to flow to Zimbabwe.
Maize grain prices are generally above five-year average levels. In Malawi and Zambia, maize prices are significantly above average.Prices are expected to remain above average in the region throughout the marketing year.