SA grain industry gears up for maize exports

The grain industry will meet with stakeholders to make export channels as accessible as possible. This in light of the staggering 4 million tons of maize South Africa expects to export this season to end at a normal stock levels.

The meeting with relevant stakeholders will take place on June 14 at Grain SA.

Jannie de Villers, chief executive officer of Grain SA, said there will be challenges, but that it’s still easier to export than to import.

South Africa’s maize harvest of 15 631 tons is the highest yield in the country’s history.

De Villiers believes due to the cheaper price, most white maize will be exported.

“The price should just go down with R150/ton, and then the Mexican market will also open for us.”

Agbiz economist Wandile Sihlobo said the surplus exported should be 52% white and 48% yellow maize.

According to Sihlobo, there will be international demand for yellow maize. This is not the case with white maize, due to better regional harvests and GM restrictions.

Sihlobo said it will be a short term solution to utilize white maize as feed and to export more yellow maize.

Exporting yellow maize will be easier because global stock feeders are more used to it. Traditional markets for South Africa include Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Brink van Wyk of trading company BVG, said markets will always be available if a supplier’s maize is cheaper.

“America exports 1 million tons every week. Our few million is nothing if local prices decrease enough. The only other problem is that there is so much maize available around the world, so importers are slow to buy in advance.

“People can see there’s already a problem with storage. Silo’s which wasn’t previously used for maize, is now being utilized for that.”

De Villiers also referred to problems relating to storage. He said all concrete silos in the country have a combined storage capacity of 16 million tons.

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