Maize fore­cast slightly down

The New Age (Gauteng) - - BUSINESS -

SOUTH Africa’s Crop Es­ti­mates Com­mit­tee (CEC) is ex­pected to slightly lower its sum­mer maize fore­cast when it gives its third es­ti­mate next week but a bumper har­vest is still seen, a sur­vey of four an­a­lysts and in­sti­tu­tions showed yes­ter­day.

The CEC, which gives its next fore­cast on Tues­day, is seen peg­ging the har­vest at 14.175 mil­lion tons, about 1% lower than its pre­vi­ous es­ti­mate of 14.32 mil­lion tons.

This would still be over 82% more than the 7.78 mil­lion tons reaped last year, when drought hit the crop, push­ing up food prices and in­fla­tion.

The range was 13.5 to 14.6 mil­lion tons.

This sea­son’s crop has ben­e­fited hugely from good rains but Wandile Sihlobo, an econ­o­mist at the Agri­cul­tural Busi­ness Cham­ber, said yields might be de­pressed slightly in parts of the coun­try’s maize belt where plant­ings were late and re­cent rain­fall had been scat­tered.

The white maize con­tract due in July was 1.15% lower yes­ter­day at R1879 a ton, about 65% lower than record peaks of more than R5000 a ton scaled last year dur­ing the drought. – Reuters

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