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South Africa Seen Cutting Corn-Production Estimate For This Year

Published on Aug 23 2015 1:23 PM in Fresh Produce tagged: Corn / Production / South Africa

South Africa Seen Cutting Corn-Production Estimate For This Year

South Africa will probably cut its estimate for this year’s corn output by 0.6 per cent after drought damaged crops in the continent’s largest producer, a survey showed.

The country’s farmers will harvest 9.7 million metric tons of the grain this season, according to the median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would be the least in eight years and lower than the Crop Estimates Committee’s July 28 outlook. The CEC will release its new forecast on Aug. 26.

The worst drought since 1992 hurt crops in the Free State and North West provinces, which accounted for almost two-thirds of corn output last year, and prompted the nation to start importing the grain. White corn, which is used to make a staple food known as pap, rallied 46 per cent this year and the yellow type that’s mainly fed to animals climbed 28 per cent.

The analysts’ estimates ranged from 9.57 million tons to 9.76 million tons. Farmers, due to finish harvesting in September, reaped 14.3 million tons in 2014, the most in 33 years.

South Africa will probably harvest 1.76 million tons of wheat this year, according to the median estimate of four analysts. That’s 0.6 per cent higher than the 1.75 million tons produced in the previous season. It will be the CEC’s first wheat outlook for this year.

Wheat futures rose to a 17-month high on Thursday and have increased 2.8 per cent this year on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.

The committee will probably keep its estimate for the area planted with wheat at 478,300 hectares (1.2 million acres), according to five analysts. While that’s 0.4 per cent more than last season, it would be the second-smallest area on record, Marda Scheepers, a senior statistician for the Pretoria-based committee, said in July.

Bloomberg News, edited by ESM. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.

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