Grain SA: Too early to say if damage from floods will affect maize production

Parts of the country have experienced flooding due to the higher than usual rainfall this summer, with grain farmers expecting a lower yield as a result.

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JOHANNESBURG - While there’s concern that the damage to crops due to heavy rains may have a knock-on effect on the price of maize, an economist at Grain SA said that it was too soon to tell.

Parts of the country have experienced flooding due to the higher than usual rainfall this summer, with grain farmers expecting a lower yield as a result.

Grain SA’s Luan van der Walt said that currently, a maize shortage was unlikely but there should be a clearer picture at the end of the production cycle.

Van der Walt said that crops in the Free State had been the hardest hit by the bad weather that gripped much of the country this summer.

But he said that a much clearer picture of the impact on production was expected at the end of next month when the crop estimates committee had met.

"They will bring out the first production estimate, then they will combine everything which includes the area planted, as well as the expected yields for the season so, at the end of February they will have a better understanding of the actual impact of what the yield might be as well," Van der Walt said.

However, Van der Walt said that so far, there was no indication of a maize shortage.

“So the expectation is that we might be having 2.6 million tonnes of carryover from the old season’s stocks into the new season. So that will act as a buffer,” Van der Walt said.

He said that while pricing may be impacted by the overall production, there’s no panic in the markets for now.