SOUTH AFRICA – Despite revising South Africa’s soybean production forecast to 1.23 million tonnes in May, the Crop Estimate Committee has upped its forecast to 1.34 million tonnes – making this season’s crop the largest on record, the Agriculture Business Chamber (Agbiz) said in its latest newsletter.

This means South Africa could be a net exporter of soybeans this season – albeit being a net importer of soybean oilcake and oil.

The exports are expected to reach 30 000 tonnes this season.

According to Agbiz, the uptick in soybean production is largely driven by an increase in area plantings as well as higher yields.

The area planted is estimated at 573 950 hectares, which is 14% higher than the previous season.

SA’s soybean production has been on the rise for some time, driven by strong growth in animal feed demand, which in turn, has been spurred on by an increase in demand for high protein food – especially within the growing middle class, says Agbiz.

July 5, 2017: Fin24