PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — With higher input costs and a positive trend in soybean plantings, South Africa’s commercial corn area in 2022-23 is expected to stay flat, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Corn area is estimated at 2.6 million hectares. Assuming normal weather conditions, South Africa’s total corn crop for 2022-23 is forecast to reach 15.6 million tonnes.

The corn crop for 2021-22 is estimated at 16 million tonnes, surpassing 2019-20 as the third largest corn crop ever produced in South Africa, the USDA said. It is also the third consecutive year corn production surpassed 15 million tonnes.

Exports are estimated at 3 million tonnes in 2021-22. The top five markets of Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Botswana and South Korea, represent more than 80% of exports.