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Southern Africa Regional Maize Supply and Market Outlook, August 31, 2021

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Zambia
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KEY MESSAGES

• Maize supplies in Southern Africa are at their highest levels in the past decade, driven by above average production during the 2020/21 production year and above average regional opening stocks in the marketing year (MY) (Figure 1). Aggregate maize harvest and supply for MY 2021/22 are estimated at 12 percent above 2020/21 and 28 percent above the five-year average, with substantially aboveaverage harvests in key maize producing countries (South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia). Production and supplies are below average locally in drought-affected parts of southern Madagascar and northeastern Mozambique.

• South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania have a maize surplus in the 2021/22 MY while Zimbabwe and Mozambique are self-sufficient in maize (Figure 2). Angola has a minor maize deficit. Structurally grain deficit Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini (BLNE) and southern DRC will continue to source maize from regional markets. Mozambique and Madagascar have average rice import requirements that will be filled through imports from international markets.

• South Africa will continue exporting maize to international markets where prices are currently elevated. Given its strong trade linkages, prices in South Africa are expected to track international prices and transmit high prices to import dependent BLNE countries. Local prices are expected to remain above 2020 and average levels in South Africa and Zambia and the markets they serve. Prices in Tanzania and Malawi will remain below 2020 and average levels due to weak export demand. Global market trends and domestic exchange rate volatility will affect imported rice prices in Mozambique and Madagascar.

• While the outlook for regional maize availability is positive, household food access may be constrained by various factors. These include declining stocks with the progression of the marketing season or price transmission of elevated international prices to local markets in some countries, COVID-19 related disruptions to income-earning opportunities, poor macroeconomic trends, and the effects of ongoing local conflicts.

• Following the unrest in South Africa’s Kwa Zulu Natal (KZN) and Gauteng provinces in mid-July, logistical networks linking ports to central warehouses and trading partners to the north (Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia) were disrupted and distribution of food, fuel and medicines affected. While supply chain operations resumed shortly thereafter to their normal level under COVID-19 circumstances, the situation will continue to be monitored closely.