Bumper maize har­vest likely

The Star Late Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS -

SOUTH Africa’s Crop Es­ti­mates Com­mit­tee (CEC) is ex­pected to slightly lower its sum­mer maize fore­cast when it gives its third es­ti­mate next week, al­though a bumper har­vest is still pre­dicted, a Reuters sur­vey of four an­a­lysts and in­sti­tu­tions showed yes­ter­day. The CEC, which will pro­vide its next fore­cast on Tues­day, is seen peg­ging the har­vest at 14.175 mil­lion tonnes, about 1 per­cent lower than its pre­vi­ous es­ti­mate of 14.32 mil­lion tonnes. This would still be 82 per­cent more than the 7.78 mil­lion tonnes reaped last year, when drought hit the crop. The range was 13.5 mil­lion to 14.6 mil­lion tonnes. 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 has been scat­tered. The white maize con­tract due in July was 1.15 per­cent lower yes­ter­day, at R1 879 a tonne, about 65 per­cent lower than record peaks of over R5 000 a tonne scaled early last year dur­ing the drought. – Reuters BAR­CLAYS

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