Africa report

SOUTH AFRICA

Area: 1.22 million sq.km
Climate: Sub-tropical with rains concentrated in the summer months (November-April); occasional snow in winter over higher parts of plateau and Cape ranges; an average of 120 days frost in the interior plateau
Population: 40.55 million (1995 estimate); GNP per caput U.S.$ 2 902 (1993)
Specific characteristics of the country: Normally net food exporter, notably maize
Logistics: Adequate port, rail and road facilities
Major foodcrops: Maize, wheat
Marketing year: May/April; Lean season: February-April
Share of cereals in total calorie intake: 54 percent


CURRENT SITUATION

Widespread rains across the corn belt through October provided timely moisture for planting maize for the 1995/96 season. Good soaking rains in November over maize growing areas encouraged larger plantings Abundant rains were also received in the north and east states and in the former eastern Transvaal. Heavy rains continued through December but also resulted in over 150 deaths, mostly in Kwazulu Natal, as well as substantial damage to dams and property.

Following the poor 1994/95 cereal crop, South Africa needs to import some 800 000 tons of maize, mainly white maize, in 1995/96 to meet its domestic shortfall. The winter wheat being harvested is now estimated at 2.3 million tons, well above last year's output of 1.8 million tons.



CEREAL SUPPLY/DEMAND BALANCE FOR THE 1995/96 MARKETING YEAR (in thousand tons)

Wheat Rice Coarse grains Total
Normal production 1 835 2 8 830 10 667
Normal exports 434 367 1 717 2 518
of which: Structural food aid - - - -
1995/96 Domestic availability 2 214 14 7 529 9 757
1995 Production 2 164 2 5 422 7 588
Possible stock drawdown 50 12 2 107 2 169
1995/96 Utilization 2 514 496 8 444 11 454
Food use 2 300 476 4 389 7 165
Non-food use 104 20 3 833 3 957
Re-exports and exports 110 - 222 332
1995/96 Import Requirement 300 482 915 1 697
Anticipated commercial imports 300 482 915 1 697
Donor-financed purchases for export - - 68 68
Estimated per caput consumption (kg/year) 56 11 106 173
Indexes
1995 production as % of normal: 71
1995/96 exports as % of normal: 13

TOC