According to the chief economist of Agbiz Wandile Cihlobo, this season in South Africa expects the largest harvest of Soybeans for the whole history by the expansion of cultivated areas and a favorable amount of rainfall in the eastern part of the country.
In a recently published report of the National Committee for Harvest Evaluation it was stated that the production of soybeans in the season should increase to 1,93 million tons, which showed 2,38% or 44 850 tons more than the previous forecast – approximately 1,89 million tons.
According to the report, the estimated soybean acreage in South Africa is 925.300 hectares with an expected yield of 2,09 tons/hectare.
"These high production levels will result in a significant drop in imports of soybeans and grains, which will be a good incentive for local livestock and poultry industries since there are ample reserves locally," Cihlobo said in an interview with Farmer's Weekly.
However, he warned that increasing local production would not necessarily result in lower prices.
"Local soybean prices follow global trends, so prices will remain high," he said.
Jaco Minnaar, President of Agri SA, said that from the farmer's point of view it is encouraging that soybeans performed better than corn in wetlands: “This gives farmers an alternative culture during rainy periods that did not exist ten years ago. ”
Minnaar said that soybean crops are expected to increase further in the coming years: "It's nice to see that soybean plans that have been envisioned over the past 15 years to expand the industry are being implemented."
In 2021, South African farmers have already planted a record-breaking 827.100 hectares of soybeans, according to the South African Grain Information Service, reaping a bumper crop of almost 2,29 million tons at an average yield of 1,9 tons/hectare.
Since 2014, the country has also expanded its soybean processing capacity, Cihlobo added, noting that overall South Africa needs to further increase production of vegetable oils, particularly sunflower and canola oils.