South Africa to import white corn from South America due to severe drought

By Staff Writer

Jan 12, 2016 03:47 AM EST

South Africa may import tonnes of white corn from South America due to the worst drought since 1992, according to biggest producers association in the country.

According to Yahoo, the biggest maize producer in South Africa may have to import as much as 5 million tonnes of the crop from South American countries in 2016. The effect of the El Nino has taken its toll in the area last year that brought down the crop production to only 9.94 million tonnes, the lowest it has been since 2007.

"We can now, with a lot of confidence, say we are in a disaster in the maize belt," said Grain SA Chief Executive, Jannie de Villiers. "We will be lucky if we produce 5 million tonnes this year and then we will need to import 5 million tonnes. This is the sort of scenario that we are looking at."

Bloomberg reported that Brazil and Argentina would be the major exporters of maize for South Africa. The South African Grain Information Service reported that shipment would exceed by more than three times the record 747,000 tons of white-corn imports in 1996.

Sagis' website posted that Brazil has exported 299,000 tons of corn to South Africa starting May. That makes Brazil the second largest corn exporter.

White corn is used to make an integral food called pap in South Africa. Meanwhile, the yellow corn is used to feed animals.

Business Day wrote that the South African Weather Service expects temperature in Johannesburg to reach as much as 38° on Thursday. The hottest the city's temperature has ever been was 36.5°C, which was in November 11, 2015.

The Department of Water and Sanitation reported that South African dams were only full by 57 percent by the end of last week. This is despite the water restrictions in most part of the country. Last year, SA dam was 82 percent full.

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