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Regional Maize Supply and Market Outlook Update

  • Supply and Market Outlook
  • Southern Africa
  • March 23, 2021
Regional Maize Supply and Market Outlook Update

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  • Key Messages
  • Preface
  • Partners


    This report provides a summary of changes to regional maize availability estimates and markets in countries monitored by FEWS NET and WFP in southern Africa for the 2020/21 marketing year (May 2020-April 2021).  It updates FEWS NET’s Regional Maize Supply and Market Outlook Report published July 2020.  It also draws insights on staple food trade from the FEWS NET/WFP Informal Cross Border Monitoring System.  To learn more about typical market conditions in Southern Africa, readers are invited to explore the Southern Africa Regional Maize Market Fundamentals Summary.

    Key Messages
    • The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic coincided with start of regional harvests for the 2020/21 marketing year (MY) in Southern Africa. At the start of MY 2020/21 opening stocks were 20 percent below average. Below average opening stocks were offset by the region’s above average 2020 maize harvest despite dryness experienced in many areas earlier in the year.

    • Regional maize supplies remain adequate and are expected to satisfy requirements for the remainder of the 2020/21 marketing year (Figure 1 and Annex I). Despite exports to international markets earlier in the marketing year, South Africa maintains an exportable maize surplus and will continue to supply deficit countries in the region.

    • In terms of intra-regional trade, maize has been able to move from surplus to deficit areas throughout MY 2020/21 despite Zambia’s formal export restrictions. Even with COVID-19 related movement restrictions in place, intra-regional trade flows have been stronger compared to previous years for both formal and informal trade flows. Maize prices in the current marketing year have varied geographically with respect to historical trends due to a combination of local, regional, and international market dynamics (Annex III).

    • Regional MY 2020/21 maize closing stocks are likely to be average (Figure 2). This is even though South Africa did not shift to importing from international markets during the second half of the current marketing year. These average closing stocks and projected average regional production in 2020/21 are expected to result in average regional supply during MY 2021/22.

    • Structurally grain deficit countries will continue to import from regional markets. Factors such as government trade policies and funding levels, maize availability and prices at source markets will determine the extent to which import gaps are covered at the country level. Although food availability within the region is expected to remain adequate, food access among market-dependent households is expected to remain constrained.

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