Problems in Southern African maize markets
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CTA. 2003. Problems in Southern African maize markets. Agritrade, June 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52945
The current South African maize crop is reported to be 8.97 million tonnes,...
The current South African maize crop is reported to be 8.97 million tonnes, and, with stocks from last year still filling the country's silos, dealers are increasingly looking to exports. In the face of this supply situation maize market prices have lost more than half their value in four and half months. Similar problems of oversupply are faced in Zambia, where the winter maize harvest is more than double that of last year. Zambian maize farmers are struggling to sell into an over-supplied local market. This has occurred on the back of an earlier request for food aid to cover an expected 630,000 tonne deficit so that large-scale imports have added to the problem. The Zambian National Farmers Union called for an immediate end to maize importation programmes. The World Food Programme has indicated that it will buy Zambian maize to feed the region if a surplus is produced. Current farmers' estimates suggest a surplus above domestic needs of 100,000 tonnes. Comment: These reports highlight the complexities of regional maize management in regions with variable rain fall and variable production. It highlights a need for trade arrangements in cereals products which are sensitive to these regional realities, with trade management tools being retained in place to sustain viable commercial production of basic food crops. This has implications for ACP positions in both the WTO and EPA negotiations.