Johannesburg - South Africa, the continent’s largest producer of corn, will probably reduce its forecast for output of the crop by 0.5 percent, according to a survey.
Farmers may reap 11.34 million metric tons of the grain, according to a median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
This compares with the 11.4 million-ton forecast made by the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee on July 25.
The range was 11.2 million tons and 11.5 million tons.
The committee will release its prediction on August 27.
South Africa’s output of corn, also called maize, has been under strain because of insufficient rain in the main growing regions, including the Free State province, which produces about 40 percent.
Analysts and traders from BVG (Pty) Ltd., Senwes Ltd. and Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd. said this will lead to lower-than-average yields.
“My estimate is based on poor yields caused as a result of that drought we experienced earlier,” Andrew Fletcher, an independent trader in Kroonstad in the Free State, said by phone.
The country produced 12.8 million tons in 2010, the biggest crop since 1982.
Meal made from white corn, whose contract for December delivery gained 0.2 percent to 2,349 rand ($230) a metric ton by the close in Johannesburg, is one of the country’s staple foods.
The yellow variety, which was little changed at 2,199.20 rand a ton, is mainly used as animal feed.
Growers may produce 1.87 million tons of wheat, a median of three analysts’ estimates shows.
This matches the final crop produced in the 2012 season, which was 7 percent less than in the 2011 period.
The range was 1.87 million tons and 2 million tons.
Wheat plantings may cover an area of 515,900 hectares (1.27 million acres) this season, a median estimate of four traders surveyed by Bloomberg shows.
This is 0.1 percent more than the 515,200-hectare prediction of last month and more than the 511,200 planted in the 2012 season, which was the smallest since the start of record-keeping in 1931.
The range was 515,200 hectares and 555,000 hectares.
The nation, a net importer of wheat, is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia and the region’s biggest importer after Nigeria and Sudan, according to US Department of Agriculture data.
Wheat for delivery in December gained 0.2 percent to 3,355 rand a metric ton, the highest since August 2 by the midday close in Johannesburg. - Bloomberg News