Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/20/2012 -- BMI View: The strong start for plantings in the 2011/12 season will very likely ensure a significant rebound in corn production after drought affected output the previous season and created tightness in the domestic and regional markets (with South Africa a significant corn exporter to neighbouring countries).
We maintain our forecast for a small decrease in sugar output in 2011/12 on the back of difficult operating conditions for local producers, specifically tight margins after the 2010/11 crop was damaged by droughts. With regards to the livestock sector, we still expect the local industry to be affected by cheap imports from Canada and Brazil as well as threatened by disease outbreaks.
- Wheat production growth to 2015/16: 34.7% to 2.0mn tonnes. Elevated local wheat prices could lead to an increase in hectares devoted to wheat cultivation. Also, an oversupply of corn could benefit wheat as farmers allocate a larger amount of land to the latter.
- Poultry consumption growth to 2015/16: 21.8% to 2.0mn tonnes. Poultry has become increasingly popular as a convenience food, with leading retailers targeting health-conscious and time-poor shoppers with a wider range of poultry products.
- Sugar production growth to 2015/16: 11.0% to 2.1mn tonnes. Over the long term, macroeconomic fundamentals, together with the increasing use of sugar for biofuel, will have a positive effect on sugar production levels.
- Real GDP growth: 2.7% in 2012, down from 3.1% in 2011; predicted to average 3.4% over the five years to 2016. GDP per capita expected to rise to US$11,233 in 2016 (from an estimated US$8,088 in 2011.
- Unemployment: Predicted to fall to 23% in 2012 from 23.9% in 2011, then to 20.1% by 2016.
- Consumer price inflation: 6.2% in 2012, up from an average of 5.0% in 2011.
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: 0.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) fall to US$10.7bn in 2011/12; growth forecast to average 4.1% annually between 2010/11 and 2015/16.
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We maintain our forecast for South African corn production to increase 11.7% y-o-y to reach 12.2mn tonnes in 2011/12, as first estimates show that plantings and yields will be strong. The US Department of Agriculture forecasts plantings to increase 4.9% y-o-y to 3.0mn hectares (ha) in 2011/12. Also, genetically modified plantings for corn are expected to increase 5.5% y-o-y to reach 1.9mn ha in 2011/12, which equates to 63.3% of total corn plantings. This is likely to push yields higher and help to compensate for losses due to delays in plantings after severe droughts affected the country's corn-growing regions. Above-average rainfall owing to the presence of a strong La Nina also is expected to push yields higher.
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