Skip to main content

Southern Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook

  • Supply and Market Outlook
  • Southern Africa
  • October 1, 2023
Southern Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Partners
    Catholic Relief Services
    Key Messages
    • Maize supplies in Southern Africa are expected to be slightly above average during the 2023/24 marketing year (MY). While regional opening stocks for MY 2023/24 are below-average, supplies are expected to be supported by above-average production in some countries during the 2022/23 production year (Figure 1). A minor surplus is therefore expected in the Southern Africa Region, which is typically self-sufficient in maize, during the MY 2023/24. However, those surpluses will be 10 percent below-average due to reduced opening stocks and increased demand. Domestic deficits will continue to be met through sourcing maize from regional markets. Aggregate maize supply for MY 2023/24 is estimated at 6 percent above 2022/23 and 9 percent above the five-year average, driven by substantially above-average harvests in South Africa and Tanzania.

    • South Africa recorded an 18% surplus over national consumption needs in 2022/23, slightly lower than the five-year average, while Tanzania recorded a 22% surplus, slightly above its five-year average (Figure 2). Zambia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe are expected to be self-sufficient in maize in MY 2023/24, but Malawi registered a minor deficit. Domestic demand is 23 percent higher than the five-year average in structurally-grain-deficit Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Eswatini (BLNE) and 10 percent above the five-year average in southern DRC partly because of higher costs of substitutes such as wheat and rice. Madagascar, which consumes more rice than maize, has average rice import requirements in MY 2023/24. Mozambique’s rice import requirements for MY 2023/24, on the other hand, are expected to rise as the deficit is 65 percent above-average due to a below-average harvest. Both countries’ rice gaps will be met with supplies from international markets but at possibly higher prices due to international rice market disruptions. 

    • South Africa’s regional maize exports are expected to be above average in MY 2023/24 due to increased regional demand, while reduced stocks in Zambia are expected to constrain typical export flows to Malawi, Kenya, and DRC. Although Tanzania is expecting a near-average surplus, the bulk of its exports are likely to be destined for Kenya.

    • Closing stocks within the region are expected to be atypically low due to tighter-than-normal regional net maize supplies this MY. This is a concern given the anticipated impact El Niño on the 2023/24 production season (which will correspond to MY 2024/25). The region is historically maize deficit during El Niño seasons. During the last strong El Niño season, South Africa and Zimbabwe imported atypically large volumes of maize grain from international markets.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top