HARARE – Zimbabwe currently requires around 300 000 tonnes of maize for livestock feed, a factor that will drive up the country’s total national demand for the crop.
According to a new report by the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN), “300 000 tons of corn is required for livestock feed. Thus, the total national demand for corn in the 2018/19 MY is estimated at 1, 9 million tons, on the same level as in the 2017/18 MY.”
The 300 000 tonnes is approximately what the country may need to import in the interim to meet total demand after a decline in harvest over the past season due to drought conditions.
“Due to the climatic challenges, Post estimates that Zimbabwe’s corn area harvested decreased by 36 percent to 1, 2 million hectares in the 2018/19 MY. As a result, Post estimates Zimbabwe’s national corn crop in the 2018/19 MY at around 1.2 million tons, down 46 percent from the 2, 2 million tons of corn produced in the 2017/18 MY.
“Despite a 15-year high corn carry-over stock of about 500 000 tons, Zimbabwe will still have to import about 300 000 tons of corn in the 2018/19 MY,” reads part of the GAIN report.
Maize production in 2018 is expected to decrease compared to the previous year’s well above-average level. This decrease would mostly reflect a reduction in yields and, to a lesser extent, an anticipated decrease in the area harvested.
But the 2018 maize output is still preliminarily forecast to remain above the previous five-year average.
Meanwhile, first quarter figures show an increase in raw material (including soya beans) procurement for stockfeeds.
“Monthly procurement of raw materials and production of stockfeeds in the first quarter of 2018 averaged 42,448 and 37,729mt respectively, representing increases of 32 percent and 18 percent, respectively over the same period in 2017.
“The value of raw materials procured and feeds produced over this period were $15, 8 million and $21, 68 million/month, respectively, being increases of 27 percent and 22 percent over the same period in 2017. The average value of raws procured in the first quarter of 2018 was $373/mt, an increase of 12 percent over the fourth quarter of 2017,” said the Livestock & Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) in its June 2018 update.
According to LMAC, maize and soya procurements during the first quarter constituted the bulk of raw material used, accounting for 70 percent of all raw materials procured by weight and 77 percent by monetary value.
Average monthly procurement of maize and soya bean derivatives in the first quarter of 2018 were 18,698mt (worth $5, 3 million) and 11,084mt/month ($6, 9 million) respectively, representing volume increases for the quarter of 24 percent (0 percent in value) and 59 percent (51 percent in value) over the same period in 2017, respectively.
Meanwhile, the data shows that poultry feeds continue to dominate the stockfeed industry.
During the first quarter, production averaged 24,747mt/month (worth $15, 5 million), being increases of 10 percent in quantity and 19 percent in value over the same period in 2017.
“Poultry feeds accounted for 66 percent of all feeds produced by weight and 77 percent by monetary value. By comparison, pig and ruminant feeds accounted for 9 percent and 11 percent of the total value of feeds produced, respectively.
“Over the period January to March 2018, production of broiler, pig and ruminant feeds increased by 34 percent, 15 percent and 66 percent while layer feeds decreased 31 percent respectively, compared to the same period in 2018,” said the LMAC.