PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — South Africa grain production is off to a decent start with above-average rains enhancing crop plantings and provided good growing conditions, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The total corn crop is estimated at 15.6 million tonnes for 2022-23. The nation will maintain its status as a net exporter of corn. Exports are estimated at 2.5 million tonnes. The top five markets include Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Botswana and Mexico.

Commercial demand for corn in 2022-23 is estimated at 12 million tonnes, which represents a marginal growth rate, the USDA said.

South Africa’s economic growth outlook over the medium term remains lackluster due to prevailing policy uncertainty, structural constraints, including continuous power outages and growing pressure on consumer spending due to rising inflation and interest rates. The struggling domestic economy will hinder any major upsurges in the demand for corn, especially with the current relatively high commodity price environment, the USDA said.