SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa continues to feel the effects of drought, with figures showing it is still importing maize. A drought earlier this year caused production shortages.

SA imported 38,306 tons of yellow maize from Brazil this week, Grain SA said. Yellow maize is normally used as animal feed in SA. The imports are more expensive due to a weaker rand.

SA had already imported 67% of the maize it needs to import this year. The 2015-16 imports stood at 516,997 tons, which was 67% of Grain SA’s forecasted imports of 770,000 tons for this season.

“The calculated parity prices for (the) December 2015 maize contract month were higher this morning and that might, in (the) short term, add upward pressure on domestic maize price movements,” Grain SA economist Wandile Sihlobo said in a note on Wednesday.

Food prices are also expected to rise in coming months as the effects of the weak rand and the drought become more apparent.

Food inflation accelerated significantly to 4.9% year on year in October from 4.4% year on year in September, Statistics SA data showed on Wednesday.

November 20, 2015;