ZAMBIA – Zambia and Tanzania are among southern African countries that are expected to have a surplus in the 2016/17 marketing season, a research institute has predicted.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) has forecast that most southern African countries are expected to have maize deficits due to the El Niño-induced drought in the previous farming season.

This is contained in the FEWSNET latest update on Southern African regional supply and market outlook availed to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, the performance of the 2015/16 rainy season was among the worst in 30 years for many countries in the region, and that it was the second consecutive season which recorded below average maize production.

“Every country in the region is expected to have a deficit during the 2016/17 marketing season, except Zambia and Tanzania.

South Africa, the main regional maize exporter, will have a deficit. Zambia, which played an important regional role during the 2015/16 marketing season, has limited volumes of exportable surpluses.

“Tanzania is expected to export the majority of its maize surpluses to neighbouring countries in east Africa. As regional maize production is not adequate to meet requirements, large and atypical supply gaps are anticipated,” FEWSNET said.

The maize prices are expected to increase atypically as the lean season approaches and will be more variable than usual, due to unusual thin markets in the region.

FEWS NET said maize prices are expected to remain well above average throughout the 2016/17 marketing season, and that market monitoring should focus on the volumes and distribution of international imports by government interventions, and food assistance programming.

“Export parity prices and export volumes from South Africa and Zambia should also be monitored closely. Opportunities for local and regional procurement of maize for in kind assistance programs are limited,” FEWSNET said.

The network said opportunities for local and regional procurement of maize for in-kind assistance programmes are limited.

January 11, 2017;