Weather Affects Maize Crop Globally as Price Surges

Maize crop damaged in Bangladesh, Romania, and the USA owing to poor weather. Weather affects maize crops globally as price surges. 

Rise in Maize Imports from Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s import for maize has increased by 54% in the wake of damage to domestic produce owing to floods. The country purchased 20 lakh tonnes of maize worth Tk 3,700 crore in 2019-20 as against 13 lakh tonnes in the previous year. The Feed Industries Association of Bangladesh (FIAB) stated that incessant rains did not allow farmers to dry maize properly. The poultry farms account for 50-60% of the raw maize demand as primary consumers.

Bangladesh is currently importing from Brazil and India. The country witnessed a slump in demand in March owing to the COVID pandemic. However, the US Department of Agriculture in April predicted a rise in demand for maize in Bangladesh by 3.7% to 56 lakh tonnes in the May-April period of 2020-21. Subsequently, the maize seed market is also expected to grow.

Drought in Romania Hits Maize Crop

The agriculture ministry of Romania said that 2020 maize output would fall by 40% to 10.2 million tonnes due to prolonged drought. The moisture level in soil did not support the maize vegetation. Besides, dry weather has also affected maize production in France.

EU Cuts Import Duties on Maize Due to Rising Prices

The European Union has slashed the import duty on maize, sorghum, and rye to zero owing to the rise in US maize prices. The decision has come after a decline in the forecast for the US 2020-21 maize harvest. The EU has updated import duties several times in the past months.

US Maize Price Surge

A storm in the US’s major maize producing state Iowa and hot and dry weather throughout the US Midwest led to a reduced forecast of the US maize. Earlier, the EU reduced import duty on maize, sorghum, and rye to €5.48 per tonne on August 12. This was owing to a slip in bioethanol demand in the United States due to the pandemic, which subsequently resulted in US maize price rise and the US dollar falling against the euro.

Zimbabwe Targets 3.6 Million Tonnes Harvest of Maize Crop

Zimbabwe government has set a target of producing 3.6 million tonnes of maize crop this year, 3% up from the five-year average. It has aimed to plant maize in 1.5 million hectares to produce 2.4 tonnes per hectare. The current year’s harvest is expected at 850,000 tonnes as against annual consumption of between 1.8 and 2.0 million tonnes. Zimbabwe is South-Africa’s largest white maize market, accounting for 38% of the maize exports. The government managed to plant 1.9 million and 1.7 million hectares in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Farmers in Uganda Avoid Sowing Maize Crop

On the other hand, farmers in Uganda are avoiding sowing maize crops owing to low productivity. Besides, several small farm holders are finding it challenging to use improved seeds and fertilizers. Moreover, the predictions for increased temperature and decreased rainfall have discouraged farmers from planting maize. Experts claim that resource constraint the primary reason for giving up maize cultivation in Uganda.

In all, maize cultivation has been affected around the globe because of unfavourable weather.

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