Johannesburg - South Africa is likely to lower its 2013 maize output forecast, a Reuters survey showed on Monday, after a drought earlier this year resulted in lower-than-expected yields.
The government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) last month said maize output for 2013 would rise to 11.394 million tonnes, from the 11.375 million tonnes in its previous forecast.
Now an average estimate of five trading houses polled by Reuters pegs the crop at 11.22 million tonnes.
The estimates ranged from 10.9 million tonnes to 11.5 million tonnes.
“We had a bad harvest in the west. We have virtually finished harvesting,” a trader said.
South Africa's Free State and North West provinces, which together produce more than half of the country's maize, suffered drought earlier this year.
One of the two traders expecting an increase in the output forecast pegged his prediction on “better yields from the yellow maize.”
South Africa harvested 11.83 million tonnes of maize in 2012.
The CEC is due to release its seventh production forecast of this year's summer crops output on Tuesday. - Reuters