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South Africa’s maize imports to soar

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South African maize imports could cost up to 19 billion rand ($1.2 billion) this year, a sharp increase from 2 billion rand in 2015, as a severe drought hits farm output and pushes up food prices, the Treasury said in February.

South Africa’s government estimates it will need imports of around 5 million tonnes of maize in 2016, Treasury said.

Food prices will probably rise 10 percent this year due to higher maize imports and a weaker rand. The government allocated 1 billion rand for drought disaster relief in 2015/16.