PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — South Africa is anticipating a record corn crop based on a second consecutive bumper crop, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

South Africa is expected to remain an exporter of corn in the 2021-22 marketing year and corn exports in the 2020-21 marketing year are expected to increase 40%, to 3.5 million tonnes. The USDA attributed the increase to a second consecutive bumper corn crop.

The 2020-21 marketing year corn crop is forecast to be a record of 16.45 million tonnes. The USDA said the 2020-21 marketing year bumper crop is expected to put downward pressure on local corn prices, which will influence corn producers’ decisions to plant corn for the 2021-22 marketing year.

Commercial corn area planting is expected to slip to 2.5 million hectares in the 2021-22 marketing year with a total of 15 million tonnes of corn produced.

The USDA anticipates wheat imports to increase in the 2021-22 marketing year to 1.7 million tonnes based on a 7% drop in production. South Africa’s wheat production in the 2021-22 marketing year is expected to be 1.96 million tonnes.

The country’s rice imports for the 2021-22 marketing year are forecast to rise slightly to 1.06 million tonnes based on an expected rise in demand. South Africa is dependent on rice imports to meet domestic demand as rice production is insignificant in the country, due to the high-water requirements of the crop.