swaziland; grains; maize; inputs

New record expected for global coarse grain production

Global production of coarse grains is expected to reach a record of 1 359.7 million tons in 2017.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) indicates in its biannual food outlook report for global food markets that this is 13.4 million tons higher than last year.

This growth is driven by the strong recoveries in maize production in southern Africa and South America. Good weather conditions in southern Africa pushed yield levels up and higher prices encouraged an increase in plantings and South Africa.

This contributed to a record yield of 17.5 million tons, which is more than double than 2016’s drought affected production.

Good weather conditions also contributed to production recovery in countries such as Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Maize imports in Africa are estimated to decrease by 1.9 million tons. This decline is owing to a cut in grain purchases by many countries in southern Africa.

After a strong rebound in domestic production, South Africa, the traditional leading regional exporting country, will not need imports.

Zimbabwe has seen a decline in imports from more than 900 000 tons in the 2016/’17 season, to almost nothing.
This is a reflection of this years’ bumper crop and a government ban in maize imports announced in earlier this year.

Also read: FAO – Food Outlook – biannual report on food markets

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