Logistics in place for SA to export 4.1m tons of maize
SOUTH Africa has sufficient infrastructure in place to handle the upcoming crop of 4.1 millions tons of total maize available for export.
This is according to Conce Moraba, an agricultural economist at Absa and Absa Retail and Business Bank.
Moraba said industry participants in the export programme say that the Durban and East London port facilities coupled with railways and roads should be able to handle the full envisaged crop.
She said the local white and yellow maize prices were expected to drop over the next few months as the crop gets harvested.
“We expect to export 2 million tons of the exportable surplus out of 4.2 million tons this year, the remaining 2.2 million tons will be stored and carried over the next marketing year (May/ Apr 2018/19). Consequently, maize prices will remain under pressure near export parity price levels.”
She said challenges facing the logistics of the crop included the increased competition for railway usage between the coal industry and agriculture in the Mpumalanga region, inland silos might need to be available to stay open “24/7” to eliminate the possible bottlenecks that might arise during weekdays and South Africa still had to finalise more export markets.
“South Korea and Taiwan have indicated they’ll be importing maize from SA. We need preferential market access to the potential export countries,” Moraba said.