Grain and Feed Quarterly Update

An Expert's View about Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in South Africa

Posted on: 9 Aug 2012

Post increased its forecast for corn area planted in the 2012/13 MY by 10 percent to 3.3 million hectares, as farmers will react positively on higher prices.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 7/26/2012 GAIN Report Number: South Africa - Republic of Grain and Feed Update Quarterly Update Approved By: Nicolas Rubio Prepared By: Dirk Esterhuizen Report Highlights: Post increased its forecast for corn area planted in the 2012/13 MY by 10 percent to 3.3 million hectares, as farmers will react positively on higher prices. This should result in a commercial corn crop of about 11.8 million tons and a 2.1 million tons exportable surplus. South Africa’s commercial corn crop estimate for the 2011/12 MY decreased by two percent to 10.8 million tons, only five percent more than the 10.4 million tons harvested in the 2010/11 MY, with prospects of a much higher crop largely been spoilt by spells of dry weather during the growing season. However, South Africa should still be able to export around 1.5 million tons of corn in the 2011/12 MY. Post: Pretoria Executive Summary Currently, domestic corn prices are at record levels, driven mainly by events in the United States where the worst drought in more than 50 years is impacting negatively on the corn crop. As farmers usually reacts positively on higher prices, post has increased its area planted forecasts for corn later in 2012 for the 2012/13 MY [1] (2013/14 MY for South Africa) by ten percent from the previous forecast. Hence, post forecast that commercial farmers will plant about 2.8 million hectares of corn and subsistence farmers 500,000 hectares. This will, based on a national average yields, result in a crop of about 12.4 million tons, eight percent more than 2011/12 MY’s crop and a 2.1 million tons of exportable surplus. The Crop Estimates Committee’s (CEC) decreased the 2011/12 MY commercial corn crop by two percent, from 11.1 million tons to 10.8 million tons, due to lower yields in the Northwest province, which is currently in the process of harvesting corn. The current crop is only five percent more than the 10.4 million tons harvested in the 2010/11 MY, with prospects of a much higher crop largely been spoilt by spells of dry weather between January and April this year. However, despite the unfavorable climatic conditions, South Africa is expected to continue to be a net exporter of corn due to a 14 percent increase in commercial hectares planted with corn. Post estimates that these exports will be around 1.5 million tons. The CEC also announced the estimates for subsistence farmers. According to the CEC subsistence farmers produced 638,463 tons of corn on 442,114 hectares in the 2011/12 MY. This means that South Africa’s total corn crop for the 2011/12 MY is estimated at 11.5 million tons on 3.1 million hectares. US$1 = Rand 8.50 (07/25/2012) Sources: www.sagis.org.za www.grainsa.co.za www.safex.co.za www.daff.gov.za [1] The marketing years (MY) used in the text refer to the USDA marketing years in the PS&D table, and do not necessarily correspond with the marketing years used by the South African grain industry. Production Domestic corn prices have increased drastically the last couple of weeks, hitting record highs; due to the drought conditions in the United States (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). If the current situation the United States persists, domestic corn prices are expected to remain at record highs, due to tight stock levels worldwide. In addition, domestic corn prices are expected to move upwards and closer to import parity levels in the current marketing season, due to South Africa’s export commitments. As farmers usually reacts positively on higher prices, post has increased its area planted forecasts for corn later in 2012 for the 2012/13 MY (2013/14 MY for South Africa) by ten percent from the previous forecast. Hence, post forecast that commercial farmers will plant about 2.8 million hectares of corn and subsistence farmers 500,000 hectares. This will, based on a national average yields, result in a crop of about 12.4 million tons, eight percent more than 2011/12 MY’s crop. Figure 1: The trend in the SAFEX price for white corn since January 2011 Figure 2: The trend in the SAFEX price for yellow corn since January 2011 The sixth estimate for the area planted and production of corn by commercial farmers for the 2011/12 MY (the 2012/13 MY in South Africa which runs from May 2012 to April 2013) was released by the CEC on July 24, 2012. The CEC decreased the commercial corn crop by two percent, from 11.1 million tons to 10.8 million tons, due to lower yields in the Northwest province, which is currently in the process of harvesting corn. The current crop is only five percent more than the 10.4 million tons harvested in the 2010/11 MY, with prospects of a much higher crop largely been spoilt by spells of dry weather between January and April this year. According to the CEC, commercial farmers planted 2.7 million hectares of corn in the 2011/12 MY, 14 percent more than the previous season. Corn plantings were up in response to higher domestic corn prices during planting time (almost double) compared to the previous season. Commercial farmers planted 1.6 million hectares with white corn, 15 percent more than the previous year, and 1.1 million hectares with yellow corn, 11 percent more than the previous year. The CEC also announced the estimates for subsistence farmers. According to the CEC subsistence farmers produced 638,463 tons of corn on 442,114 hectares in the 2011/12 MY. This means that South Africa’s total corn crop for the 2011/12 MY is estimated at 11.5 million tons on 3.1 million hectares. The following table details area planted and production figures of white and yellow commercial and subsistence corn for the 2010/11 MY (actual), 2011/12 MY (estimate) and 2012/13 MY (forecast). Table 1: Area planted and production of commercial and subsistence corn in South Africa Area Yield Prod. Area Yield Prod. Area Yield Prod. 1,000ha t/ha 1,000 t 1,000ha t/ha 1,000 t 1,000ha t/ha 1,000 t MY 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 Commercial corn White 1,418 4.3 6,052 1,637 3.8 6,193 1,700 4.1 6,960 Yellow 954 4.5 4,308 1,063 4.4 4,644 1,100 4.4 4,840 Sub Total 2,372 4.4 10,360 2,700 4.0 10,837 2,800 4.2 11,800 Subsistence corn White 347 1.1 396 302 1.4 429 350 1.1 400 Yellow 140 1.2 168 140 1.5 209 150 1.3 200 Sub Total 487 1.1 564 442 1.4 638 500 1.2 600 TOTAL 2,859 3.8 10,924 3,142 3.7 11,475 3,300 3.8 12,400 Source: SAGIS and CEC Consumption Post forecasts that the demand for corn for human consumption and animal feed in the 2012/13 MY, will increase by only one percent and two percent, respectively, due to slower economic growth in South Africa and higher corn prices. The demand for corn for human consumption is expected to increase to 4.6 million tons, while the demand for corn for animal feed purposes will increase to 4.5 million tons. For the 2011/12 MY, it is estimated that commercial demand for corn will remain flat from the previous season, due to relative high domestic corn prices which will hinder an increase in demand. Total commercial corn consumption for the 2010/11 MY was finalized at 9.6 million tons. Table 2 outlines the commercial consumption for white and yellow corn for the 2010/11 MY (actual), 2011/12 MY (estimate) and 2012/13 MY (forecast). Table 2: The commercial consumption of white and yellow corn in South Africa CORN White Yellow Total White Yellow Total White Yellow Total 1,000 t MY 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 Human 4,119 393 4,512 4,100 400 4,500 4,150 400 4,550 Animal 1,202 3,160 4,362 1,200 3,200 4,400 1,100 3,400 4,500 Other 225 468 693 200 500 700 200 500 700 TOTAL 5,546 4,021 9,567 5,500 4,100 9,600 5,450 4,300 9,750 Source: SAGIS; Grain SA Note: Please note that consumption figures in the PS&D table also include corn utilized by the subsistence farming sectors. Trade With an estimated commercial corn crop of 11.8 million tons, post forecasts that South Africa will be able to export about 2.1 million tons of corn in the 2012/13 MY. Despite the unfavorable climatic conditions in the 2011/12 MY, South Africa is expected to continue to be a net exporter of corn due to the increase of hectares planted with corn. Post estimates that these exports will also be around 1.5 million tons. For the 2010/11 MY, South Africa exported 2.4 million tons of corn which included 1.7 million tons of white corn and 711,816 tons of yellow corn (see also Table 4 below). South Africa also imported 288,304 tons of yellow corn from Romania and Ukraine, which was mostly used at the coastal regions of the country. A small amount of white corn (133,771 tons) was imported from Zambia and milled in the far northern parts of South Africa where there is especially a strong demand for corn meal from neighboring Zimbabwe. Total corn imports reached 422,075 tons in the 2010/11 MY. Table 4: Export and import countries for white and yellow corn (1,000 tons) MY 2010/11 2011/12 (May 1, 2011 – Apr 30, 2012) (May 1, 2012 – July 20, 2012) White corn Yellow corn White corn Yellow corn Export Destinations Botswana 150 22 38 10 Ghana 0 8 0 0 Iran 0 41 0 0 Italy 68 0 0 0 Japan 0 49 0 0 Korea 45 302 0 0 Kuwait 0 28 0 0 Lesotho 140 7 26 1 Madagascar 0 4 0 2 Mexico 1,162 0 292 0 Mozambique 65 15 10 1 Namibia 38 16 5 5 Senegal 0 3 0 0 Somalia 19 0 0 0 Swaziland 14 56 2 9 Taiwan 0 162 0 0 Venezuela 31 0 0 0 TOTAL EXPORTS 1,734 712 373 28 Import Suppliers Zambia 134 0 7 0 India 0 1 0 0 Ukraine 0 146 0 0 Romania 0 141 0 0 TOTAL IMPORTS 134 288 7 0 Source: SAGIS Prices SAFEX prices as of July 20, 2012, are shown in Table 5. Currently, domestic white corn and yellow corn prices are at record levels, driven mainly by events in the United States where the worst drought in more than 50 years is impacting negatively on the corn crop. The South African corn market inter alia takes its cues from the Chicago Board of Trade as South Africa is a major player in the world corn market and has an open market policy. White corn and yellow corn prices are, respectively, 20 percent and 24 percent higher than three months ago. On a year-on-year basis, white corn prices are 47 percent higher and yellow corn prices 46 percent higher. Table 5: SAFEX prices for corn SAFEX Futures prices (as of 07/20/2012) Commodity 2012/07 2012/09 2012/12 2013/03 2013/07 White corn R2,728/t R2,750/t R2,799/t R2,765/t R2,320/t ($321/t) ($324/t) ($329/t) ($325/t) ($273/t) Yellow corn R2,731/t R2,711/t R2,740/t R2,694/t R2,323/t ($321/t) ($319/t) ($322/t) ($317/t) ($273/t) Table 6: PS&D Table for Corn Corn South Africa 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 Market Year Begin: May 2011 Market Year Begin: May 2012 Market Year Begin: May 2013 USDA Official New Post USDA Official New Post USDA Official New Post Area Harvested 2,859 2,859 3,200 3,142 3,200 3,300 Beginning Stocks 5,169 5,169 3,418 3,419 2,743 2,669 Production 10,924 10,924 11,500 11,475 13,000 12,400 MY Imports 421 422 25 25 25 25 TY Imports 6 6 400 400 25 0 TY Imp. from U.S. 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total Supply 16,514 16,515 14,943 14,919 15,768 15,094 MY Exports 2,446 2,446 1,500 1,500 2,000 2,100 TY Exports 2,839 2,839 1,500 1,500 2,000 2,100 Feed and Residual 4,950 4,950 4,950 5,000 5,100 5,100 FSI Consumption 5,700 5,700 5,750 5,750 6,000 5,800 Total Consumption 10,650 10,650 10,700 10,750 11,100 10,900 Ending Stocks 3,418 3,419 2,743 2,669 2,668 2,094 Total Distribution 16,514 16,515 14,943 14,919 15,768 15,094 1000 HA, 1000 MT, MT/HA
Posted: 09 August 2012

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