Maize forecast slightly down
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