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South Africa Oilseed Plantings Set to Reach Record Highs

23 April 2013
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

SOUTH AFRICA - For the 2013/14 market report (MY), post forecasts a seven per cent increase in the area planted with oilseeds later in 2013, to a record 1.14 million hectares, which could produce a historical high of 1.67 million tons of oilseeds.

The increase in total oilseed plantings is mainly driven by a nine percent increase in soybean plantings to 580,000 hectares.

A new soybean crushing plant, with a capacity of 185,000 tons per annum, started to operate in 2012 and another three plants, with a combined crushing capacity of approximately 650,000 tons are expected to be added through 2013.

Post believes farmers will react positively to this increased local demand for soybeans and consequently will plant more hectares to soybeans.

Post forecasts that sunflower seed and groundnut planted areas will increase only marginally to 510,000 hectares and 50,000 hectares, respectively.

The South African Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) released its first oilseeds production estimate for the 2012/13 MY on February 26, 2013. The CEC estimated the commercial oilseed crop at 1.6 million

However, the CEC did their yield surveys before a mid-season drought hit the Northwest and Free State Provinces and harshly affected the summer crops.

The grain industry is in agreement that the CEC was overly-optimistic in the first estimate and that the committee will have to adjust the production estimates for summer crops significantly downwards at their subsequent meetings.

After taking the drought conditions in consideration, post estimates the commercial oilseed crop at 1.44 million tons for the 2012/13 MY, 16 percent more than the 1.24 million tons produced in the 2011/12 MY.

Further Reading

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