South African maize exports have been on an upwards curve for the last two weeks, mostly thanks to massive orders from Taiwan and Kenya. In the week ending 30 June, 112 574 tons of maize were exported, with 86 920 tons exported in the previous week.
In the last three weeks no less than 106 000 tons were exported to Kenya, where there is a serious shortage of maize.
South Africa shipped just over 100 000 tons of yellow maize to Taiwan between 17 and 30 June. Since the beginning of the year, the country imported a total of 160 701 tons of South African maize, while Korea imported 53 120 tons from South Africa.
Kenya also imported 105 451 tons of white maize in the last three weeks of June.
However, South Africa can expect competition in the export of white maize to Kenya.
The website Business Daily reports that Dora Siliya, Zambia’s Minister of Agriculture, met with Willy Bett, her Kenyan counterpart, hoping to finalise an export agreement for sugar and maize between the two countries.
“According to Zambia, there is 1.4 million tons available for export, with an expected harvest of 3.6 million tons compared to last years’ 2.9 million tons,” said Wandile Sihlobo, an economist at the South African business chamber Agbiz.
Conce Morabe, an agriculture economist at Absa, said although harbour officials believe they can handle exports of 4.2 million tons, there is no great demand for white maize.
“The solution is possibly to increase the use of white maize in the feed industry,” she said.