Jannie de Villiers, chief executive officer of Grain SA, said the maize price in South Africa will most likely worsen before it shows improvement.
“It would require something dramatic like bad weather forecasts, a stronger rand or limitations on the finances of farmers to give it a boost.”
He said – according to the National Crop Estimates Committee – a total of 19.2 million tons for wheat and oil seeds (winter and summer) are expected compared to a previous harvest of 11.2 million tons.
“Efforts from Grain SA to increase demand was firstly based on increasing demand in poultry, dairy and red meat industries and secondly, to promote the direct export of grain.”
He said exporting an expected surplus of 3.6 million tons won’t happen overnight.
“The infrastructure at the ports is ready to export about 3.6 million tons of maize, but more delays will add extra pressure. The first deep sea export contracts for yellow maize have been granted by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and we expect it will leave the ports before the end of the month.”
The most important export destinations are Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. De Villiers said Grain SA had numerous discussions with Senzile Zokwane, minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to assist in finding new markets in the East and Middle East.
Saudi Arabia is a good possibility and there are attempts to get regulations in place to export to Indonesia.
He says even though a record harvest is expected for soya beans, it is still not enough for local usage.