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USGC Looking to South Africa for Grain Market Opportunities

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is looking to South Africa for possible new grain market opportunities as drought in the country could cut its corn crop by 20 percent.

In 2016 when drought hit South Africa (usually a corn exporter) creating a similar scenario, the USGC was successful in securing market access to U.S. corn to meet the country’s domestic demand. Through trade mission including government leaders, millers, grain traders, and end-users, the USGC was able to eliminate biotech restrictions on corn imports from the U.S. leading to South Africa approving imports of U.S. white and yellow corn.

This effort resulted in South Africa buying 1.7 million bushels of U.S. corn valued at $71 million, and 6.7 million bushels of sorghum valued at $28 million between the 2015 and 2017 marketing years.

Now, as South Africa is expected to produce 11.9 million tons of corn, down from 15.6 million tons last year, the USGC is sending a team to South Africa to explore the situation and to identify grain trade opportunities between the two countries.

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