South Africa’s oilseed production to reach 2.6m tons as it moves towards self-sufficiency

SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s oilseed production is projected to reach 2.6 million tonnes for the 2018/19 MY from 2.5 million tonnes produced in the previous season, as it moves towards self-sufficiency in oilseed value chains.

USDA’s August GAIN report indicates that the country has shown a positive trend in oilseeds planting over the years as a result of investment in soybean processing capacity.

This is further driven by the possibility that corn farmers will cut planted area by 10% due to a relatively large carry-over stock, suppressed local corn prices, prompting them to switch more corn fields to oilseeds, especially soybeans.

The area planted increased by 14% to 1.4 million hectares and the record high was also achieved given the recovery in weather conditions in the later part of the season after a midsummer drought.

Thus, oilseed meal imports are expected to drop from contributing 70% to local consumption, 10 years ago, to contributing less than 20% to local consumption in the forecast period.

Soybean production increased by 18% to a record 1.6 million tons in the 2017/18 MY, sunflower seed production decreased marginally to 858,605 tons, while peanut production decreased by 44% to 52,000 tons.

According to the estimates, soybean production is expected to increase by 6% to 1.7 million tons, sunflower production will stay unchanged at around 850,000 tons while peanut production is projected to increase by more than 50% to 80,000 tons in the 2018/19.

Since 1.4 million tons of oilseeds will be crushed locally, it is expected that oilseed meal imports will drop by 15% to 285,000 tons, contributing less than 20% to local consumption.

The report estimates South Africa will import 335,000 tons oilseed meal in 2017/18, a decrease attributed to increase in local oilseed production.

In the 2016/17 MY South Africa imported 491,000 tons of soybean meal and 23,000 tons of sunflower meal, mainly from Argentina.

As a result of demand pull, the country expanded its soybean processing capacity to replace soybean meal imports.

Sunflower seed planted area will stay constant at 600,000 hectares, and peanut planted area will stay at its normal levels of around 55,000 hectares.

Consumption is boosted by a record oilseed crop and increase in oilseed processing capacity.

South Africa imported 28,000 tonnes of soybeans and less than 1000 tons of sunflower seed mainly from Zambia and Malawi and is expected to rule out on imports due to high local production.

South Africa consumes about 1.2 million tons of vegetable and oilseed oil per annum especially palm oil imported from Indonesia and Malaysia.

It imported about 917,000 tons of vegetable and oilseed oil in the 2016/17 MY including palm oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil and such imports are expected to drop 885,000 tons on a 9% increase in locally produced oil.

South Africa also exports oilseed oils to neighboring countries and other countries in southern Africa, such as Zambia and Angola.

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