Heatwave poses threat to local grain supply: Grain SA

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Grain SA says South Africa may fail to meet the local grain demand as the current heat wave and insufficient rain continues to affect different grain farmers, mostly in the western parts of the country.

White maize, soybeans and sunflower are the most affected, leading to decreased yields.

Experts say the latest maize harvest estimate was reduced by about 17% compared to last season, soybeans by 22 % and sunflower cut down by about 6%.

The chairperson of Grain SA, Derek Mathews, says this also threatens exports, as the country might not meet the target if the heat persists.

“South Africa consumes a lot of white maize for human consumption and that’s unique. It’s only in South Africa and Mexico where you find that. If the white maize crop comes below the local demand, then we could see prices increase quite significantly. We’re not expecting a lot of exports this year. We don’t think there’ll be sufficient supplies. We probably have enough grain for South Africa at this point in time. Should it rain in the next coming weeks then we will be more comfortable. If it doesn’t rain the damage is going to become more extensive and then will probably end up not exporting at all.”

Agricultural Yield | Summer harvest at risk due to lack of rain, heatwave: