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Southern Africa: Regional Maize Supply and Market Outlook Update, April 28th, 2022

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KEY MESSAGES

• Poor seasonal performance due to delays in planting is expected to create harvest setbacks which will affect supplies in Market Year (MY) 2022/23. Anticipated below average cereal production will increase national maize import demand in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar and Angola in MY 2022/23.

• In January 2022, stock levels remained at comfortable levels in maize surplus countries with ending stocks as a share of total consumption projected to be above average. Supplies in South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi remained adequate and are expected to satisfy requirements of regional maize deficit countries through MY 2021/22 (Figure 1). In South Africa, the projected ending stock level as of April 30, 2022, is estimated at 2.1 million tons, with a stock to usage ratio (SUR) of 24 percent, above MY 2020/21 levels (Annex I).

• The seasonal upward trend of maize grain prices in most markets will continue, at least until March as the demand for maize grain rises and peaks at the height of the lean season. Although high stock levels will continue to ease upward pressure on domestic prices for the remaining part of this marketing year, rising production costs for energy, fertilizer and labor as well as weak exchange rates and low global inventories, is amplifying seasonal price trends upward.

• With the onset of the Ukraine crisis, there are concerns about the impact on local prices and availability as the region is a net importer of wheat and edible oil, energy, and fertilizers. Governments in the region are expected to safeguard domestic food supplies and seek sources, possibility to the detriment of regional trade. Oil- and gasproducing Angola and Mozambique may boost international export revenues, and high maize prices may benefit exporters like Zambia, South Africa and Tanzania while increasing prices paid by regional trade partners (e.g. BLNE). Elevated and rising commodity prices will place upward pressure on domestic inflation, and slowdown economic growth.