Nigeria Corn: Brazil Ships 45,000 Tons Amid Partial Ban


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Corn accounts for the majority share of Nigeria’s coarse grain production. However, production costs have increased significantly for Corn farmers. For example, a bag of fertilizer costs more than 22,000 naira ($52) compared to 15,000 naira in 2021. The Maize Grower and Processors Association of Nigeria underscores that the cost of cultivating a hectare of Corn farm has increased by 43% compared to 2021.

FAS Lagos estimates Nigeria’s MY2022/23 Corn production at 12.1 million metric tons (MMT), a roughly 5 percent decrease compared to the USDA MY 2021/22 figure of 12.5 million tons (MMT). MY2022/23 area harvested is about 5.8 million hectares (MH), decreased by nearly 3 percent compared with 6.0 million hectares (MH) in MY2021/22. Regional insecurity across Nigeria’s Corn belt hampers Corn production as farmers abandon their farms and escape to nonviolent areas in cities. In the Northwest, farmers pay taxes to armed gangs to access farms.

The Russia-Ukraine war, especially the blockade of Black Sea ports, affected Corn production in Nigeria. The Government of Nigeria imports Muriate of Potash (MOP), one of Russia’s primary raw materials used for blending fertilizer. Two of the four primary raw materials used in mixing compound fertilizers (NPKs) are Di-ammonia Phosphate (DAP) and Muriate of Potash (MOP) – both are sourced from Morocco and Belarus/Russia, respectively.

On the other hand, Nigeria produces Urea and limestone locally. One of the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war is a global shortage of essential chemicals required to produce fertilizers. As a result, Nigerian farmers face higher fertilizer prices – the cost is beyond the reach of smallholder farmers. Although Nigeria produces enough urea, a Corn farmer needs at least four bags (200kg) of NPK fertilizer for one hectare of farmland.

Post estimates FSI consumption for MY2022/23 to be flat compared with MY2021/22 figure. Corn is the staple meal for many Nigerians and is the most critical ingredient in producing animal and aquaculture feed. Nigerians consume Corn meal, especially for breakfast. The demand for breakfast food made from fermented Corn has increased due to rising prices for wheat-based products – bread, etc.

The feed crisis in the poultry sector is heavily impacting smaller farms. Large poultry operators have access to Corn. They buy in bulk during the harvest season when prices are meager. The Poultry Association of Nigeria informs Post those small-scale poultry farmers are going out of business. However, the price of Corn was stable at the peak of the rainy season. Many poultry operators are turning to innovation by using cassava waste in livestock feeds.

Post estimates MY2022/23 opening and closing stocks at 1.517 million metric tons (MT) and 697,000 metric tons (MT). The devaluation of the naira makes holding large stocks a disadvantage. In other words, a currency devaluation affects the cost of operating mills – especially production decisions. The Government begins national performance trials (NPT) for GE TELA Corn as Nigeria makes another leap toward increasing productivity, especially for smallholder farmers.

Nigerian Corn Trade

Post estimated imports for MY2022/23 at 50,000 metric tons (MT), a reduction from 200,000 metric tons (MT) recorded last marketing year. Multinational companies producing food and animal feed products in Nigeria were the leading importers in 2021 – these companies received approvals from the CBN. In general, Corn imports are partially banned from entering Nigeria as the CBN forbids banks from issuing foreign exchange form (Form M) to importers. Brazil shipped 45,300 tons of Corn to Nigeria in January 2023.

FAS Lagos estimates MY2022/23 Corn exports at 50,000 metric tons (MT). Nigeria’s export ban on Corn is still in place. However, informal trade between Nigeria and Sahel countries occurs. Nigeria’s Corn exports are mostly informal across countries in the Sahel region and West African neighbors.

Other sources: USDA

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