Bloomberg News

South African Corn Exports May Lead to Shortage, Price Rise

November 23, 2011

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa may have to cut weekly corn exports by 88 percent to about 8,000 metric tons from 64,000 metric tons due to a shortage, said Grain SA, which represents most of the country’s grain growers.

“There are 24 weeks remaining in the current marketing season, and the export tempo will have to slow,” Nico Hawkins, a Grain SA spokesman, said in a telephone interview today. The country, which is Africa’s biggest corn producer, will be able to meet its export obligations, he said.

South Africa’s domestic consumers may see a shortfall of more than 250,000 tons of corn between now and the beginning of the next marketing season, Bothaville-based Grain SA said.

“The question is where we might import corn from. The white corn is there, but the prices are high and we’re not allowed to import genetically modified yellow corn from big producers like the U.S., Argentina and Brazil,” said Hawkins.

Yellow corn is mainly used for animal feeds in South Africa, where white corn is a staple food.

--Editors: Sharon Lindores, Antony Sguazzin

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Johannesburg at blatham@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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