Maize Shortage Looms In South Africa After Country Bumps Up Exports

JOHANNESBURG / REUTERS

South Africa will run out of maize as early as next month after the country committed most of its harvest for exports.

They (other countries) have also bought an unknown quantity that is in our silos and is still to be exported. This unknown quantity is now causing panic among local buyers, said Jannie de Villiers, chief executive officer of farmers group Grain SA.

If we knew how much was left and how much had been sold, we would not be sitting with a shortage.

South Africa, which harvested 12.8 million tonnes of maize in the 2009-10 season, its biggest crop in three decades, is already importing maize from Zambia.

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