Maize has been a part of Africa’s agricultural produce as the continent is one of the highest producers in the world claiming about 6.5 percent of the global maize production.
For many decades, the price of this agricultural commodity has witnessed a continuous rise and fall due to several reasons.
South Africa happens to be the highest producer of maize in Africa producing about 8 million tons a year while South Africa takes the second place.
South Africa, being the largest producer, has states that have made this possible. The leaders of maize production in South Africa are Niger, Kaduna, Taraba, Adamawa, and Plateau States.
Although, it is also evident that maize grows all over the country. This has made the consumption of maize to be an integral part of our society and economy.
This article focuses on the prices of maize in South Africa both per bag and per ton, depending on the market.
Consumption of Maize (Corn) in South Africa
Maize, which is popularly known as “corn”, is the most common cereal grain in the world due to its economic importance.
Maize consumption in the eyes of most South Africans is either the boiled or roasted corn which can be eaten on the go. But to most people’s surprise, there are many delicacies that can be prepared with maize.
As a cereal that gives energy, maize is rich in carbohydrate, vitamins, protein, iron, fibre, zinc, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and so on. It has been medically proven to aid digestion, boost the immune system and nourish the skin.
Some of the food made with maize are pap (akamu), corn pudding, tuwo, donkwa, Eko, and some South-South soups made by blending the grains. The northerners are the major consumers of maize as it forms a whole lot of their foods.
Also, maize is a majorly used product in the poultry industry as feeds for animals.
What is the Current Price of Maize in South Africa?
Current Price of Maize Per Bag in South Africa (Yellow Maize and White Maize)
The cost of maize in South Africa is heavily influenced by the market you’re purchasing it from. Below are the average prices.
- A bag of yellow maize (100kg): R$ 592- R$ 666
- A bag of white maize (100kg): R$ 574-R$ 666
Compared to last year, the price increased between 15 to 20 percent. But checking through the markets (like Kaduna Central market) in the North where it is largely produced, the prices are fairly cheap as a bag costs between R$ 500 and R$ 518.
Current Price of Maize Per Ton in South Africa
The price of a ton of maize has seen dramatic changes over the years. A ton currently costs between R$ 3,404 and R$ 4,440 across various markets in the country.
Corn Market Outlook in South Africa
There are several markets across South Africa and the bulk of the maize sold in these markets are bought and transported from the Northern states. This has lead to price fluctuation because of the high cost of transporting from the far North.
The prices of maize are categorized based on color; the white maize and the yellow maize. Both have been seen to have different prices due to their demand. The white is usually cheaper than the yellow Maize.
It’s important to note that the raw form of maize is sold in wholesale and it is measured in bags. A bag of maize in South Africa weighs 100kg. So when you go to the market, it is going to be sold in Bags.
Sellers complain that there has been a price increase earlier this year. This has been seen in several markets in the country like the Onitsha market, Oba market Benin and Kings market Ado-Ekiti.
Factors Affecting the Price of Maize in South Africa
The major reason for the price increase in some of these markets is attributed to the seasonal availability and importation from countries like the US and Ukraine. Cost of import duties has increased the price of maize in the country.
Some Sellers at the Oba market in Benin blamed the government for not putting a ban on the imported maize. They believe that putting a ban on it will encourage local farmers to produce more and since there won’t be import duties cost, the price may be reduced.
Maize is a commercially profitable business but there are risks involved in the growing of the crop; like its sensitivity to drought. Due to Africa’s lack of technology, this drought has led to the crop’s failure.
However, the federal government has invested heavily in advancing the South Africa agricultural industry to enhance the growing of crops and rearing of animals.
Just as we have a big change in rice production in South Africa through Kebbi-Durban state partnership, let’s hope the same will be done by other states in regards to Maize.
In conclusion, the price of a bag of maize is dependent on your bargaining ability and the market you are purchasing from.
The business of maize is still a profitable one and is always in constant demand as the market is readily available for sellers.
The price hike currently witnessed on the market is largely motivated by the seasonal effects of corn. There should be agricultural advances that should be made to preserve maize so that such occurrences can be managed.
The price fluctuation has a very big negative effect on sellers and farmers as it affects their profitability.
Furthermore, due to the reduction in the price of fertilizers for local farmers by the federal government, there could be a likely drop in the price of this commodity. Also, the price will most probably reduce in the coming months during its season due to the seasonal factor.