There is room for an upward adjustment of South Africa maize production estimates

Maize (Corn)
South Africa
Published Mar 27, 2021

Tridge summary

South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee mildly lifted its forecast for 2020/21 summer grain and oilseeds production from last month by 1% to 18,7 million tonnes (this compared with 17,6 million tonnes in 2019/20 production season). The upward adjustments were mainly on maize, soybeans and sorghum, whereas sunflower seed, dry bean and groundnut production estimates were revised down from the previous month.

Original content

Nevertheless, the downward adjustments were overshadowed by the upward adjustments, hence on a net basis, the summer crop production estimate is up from last month. If we zoom into significant crops, the 2020/21 maize, soybean and sunflower seed harvests are forecast at 15,9 million tonnes (up 4% y/y, and second-largest harvest on record — see chart), 1,9 million tonnes (up 39% y/y, a record harvest), and 712 940 tonnes (down 12% y/y), respectively. The maize production estimate is slightly below our estimated 16,7 million tonnes, and the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy’s estimated 17,0 million tonnes. Considering the optimistic yield estimates we received from farmers on the ground and observations in places we have been in, we are inclined to think that there is room for the Crop Estimates Committee to raise its maize production estimates further coming months. Thus, we are not adjusting our view for now from our current estimate of 16,7 million tonnes. The current maize ...
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