Argentina Holds a Monopoly in Ivory Coast’s Corn Market


May 12, 2023 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 2 minutes

Ivory Coast’s Corn production is to increase to 1.3 MMT in MY 2023/24, a 14 percent increase from MY 2021/22, estimated at 1.15 MMT. Based on current Corn projections, the Post estimated MY 2022/23 Corn production at 1.25 MMT, a 9 percent increase from the production set in MY 2021/22. During the current growing season, Post calculates the area harvested to be at 560,000 hectares, a four percent increase from MY 2020/21.

While the crop is well-established throughout the country, larger production areas that produce surplus Corn are primarily located in certain regions, notably the Northern part of the country, where cotton is also the major cash crop (Savanes, Denguele, Woroba). In these areas, Corn is almost always the second most-grown crop planted by most farmers. The production of Corn is highly correlated with the production of cotton in the Ivory Coast. Cotton farmers also access various inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, to grow their crops.

As cotton farmers often receive cotton, rice, and Corn seeds from ginning companies, the purchase of seeds is less frequent. According to various sources, Corn consistently occupies a prominent position in its prevalence on agricultural holdings and the extent of land devoted to its cultivation. Since the beginning of MY 2022/23, cotton farmers have faced the impact of the jassid insect, which has decreased production by 55 percent.

While cotton farmers will continue to grow cotton, Post estimates that farmers will decrease the area planted and focus more on Corn production to mitigate future risks from the jassid pest. Compared to other crops such as cassava, yam, or rice, manual cultivation of Corn is less labor-intensive and would be the primary choice for many farmers. Post estimates Ivory Coast’s area harvested for Corn to be at 580,000 hectares, an increase of seven percent compared to MY 2021/22.

Post forecasts Ivory Coast’s national consumption of Corn for MY 2023/24 to be at 1.25 MMT, a six percent increase from MY 2021/22. Post expects national Corn consumption to be stable at 1.1 MMT for MY 2022/23, unchanged from 2021/22. Human consumption accounts for up to 60 percent of the total supply, with most of it consumed by farmers. In general, the Corn market is very active, allowing farmers to decide between consuming their crops, saving them for future use, or selling them in large quantities for a considerable profit.

Feed consumption represents the country’s second primary use of Corn, accounting for up to 40 percent of the total supply. While the industrial usage of Corn (excluding animal feed) is still relatively low, major industrial buyers acquire less than five percent of total production. However, the potential for increasing local industrial demand is significant, particularly if more producers can meet the highly specific quality requirements for the industrial sector. Corn ending stocks is to reach 198,000 MT for MY 2023/24, while the reserves for the current growing season are estimated at 168,000 MT for MY 2022/23.

Corn Trade in Ivory Coast

Post projects Ivory Coasts’ MY 2023/24 imports at 60,000 MT, a 26 percent decrease from MY 2021/22 estimate of 82,000 MT. Corn imports come primarily from Argentina, which accounts for 80 percent of the total market over the last five years. Corn from South Africa represents the second largest supply for Cote d’Ivoire, while Mali supplies less than five percent. Post expects MY 2022/23 imports to be stable at 60,000 MT. Annual imports remain marginal and are only used to satisfy particular quality requirements for industrial demand growth, which can resort to the international market. This situation is beneficial for the poultry sector in particular.

Other sources: USDA

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