Extreme Weather Is Shaking Up Africa’s Corn Trade

At least three African nations will need to import more corn this year after extreme weather from cyclones to drought devastated crops, sparking some unusual trade flows. Consumers in sub-Saharan Africa generally eat white corn, while the yellow variety that’s more commonly traded globally is used for animal feed. That, combined with bans on genetically modified crops in many African countries, can make international purchases difficult, and the imports come amid a rally in global corn prices as floods ravage U.S. plantings.  Imports of coarse grain in sub-Saharan Africa may reach 4.8 million tons in the year that begins in October, according to the USDA. Though that’s a small fraction of global trade, it marks the region’s highest demand in three years. Aside from corn, the region’s consumption of wheat and rice has also been climbing. Consumer preferences are shifting, and imports may gain further amid the drought.SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

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