South Africa Sees Record Corn Crop, Even Bigger In Last Estimate
South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, boosted its final estimate for this year’s record crop as the pace of deliveries continues to point to a bumper harvest.
Growers will probably reap 16.74 million metric tonnes of corn in the 2016-17 season, Lusani Ndou, a senior statistician at the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone on Thursday. That’s more than double the 7.78 million tons produced a year earlier, when the worst drought since records began more than a century ago reduced the harvest to a nine-year low.
The bumper crop has helped support the economy, which emerged from a recession in the second quarter. The agriculture sector surged an annualised 34% in the second quarter from the previous three months, while slowing food-price growth has helped limit inflation this year.
The committee raised its corn-crop estimate by 2% from the 16.41 million tonnes it projected in August. The harvest is split between white and yellow corn.
Other forecasts from the CEC included: White corn estimate was increased 2.5% to 9.89 million tonnes; Yellow corn estimate was increased 1.4% to 6.85 million tonnes; Wheat production estimated at 1.72 million tonnes, 10% lower than a year earlier; The committee predicted 1.6 million tonnes in August.