SA may produce more maize this season

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MaizeCobField REUTERS

Johannesburg - South Africa’s corn output probably increased 5.9 percent this season from a year earlier, according to a survey.

The nation may leave its estimate for wheat production unchanged.

Farmers may harvest 12.5 million metric tons of corn, according to a median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The range was 11.95 million tons to 12.8 million tons and compares with the 11.8 million tons produced in the 2011-12 season.

The Crop Estimates Committee will release its data on February 26.

South Africa, the largest corn producer on the continent, produced 12.8 million tons in 2010, the biggest crop since 1982.

Meal made from white corn is one of the country’s staple foods and the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

The committee will probably leave its estimate for the area of corn planted unchanged from last month’s forecast of 2.78 million hectares (6.9 million acres) the survey showed.

The range was 2.74 million hectares and 2.8 million hectares.

Yellow corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, dropped 2 percent to 2,026 rand ($228) a ton by the close in Johannesburg yesterday.

The white variety for delivery in the same month, fell 0.9 percent to 2,027 rand a ton.

The committee may leave its estimate for the wheat harvest unchanged at 1.92 million tons, according to the median of the forecasts. The previous prediction was made on January 24.

Wheat for March delivery rose 0.8 percent to 3,483 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News

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