Johannesburg - South Africa is likely to keep steady its 2013 maize output forecast in its final estimate for the season, a Reuters survey showed on Wednesday, as farmers look forward to planting next season's crop.
The government's Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) last month raised this year's maize output forecast to 11.513 million tonnes, citing better yields from the yellow maize variety.
An average estimate of six traders polled by Reuters pegs the final forecast at 11.5 million tonnes, largely unchanged from the previous government forecast.
The estimates ranged between 11.2 million tonnes and 11.663 million tonnes.
The CEC is due to release its final production forecast of this year's summer crops output on Thursday.
In its first output forecast in February, the CEC had anticipated South Africa to harvest a bigger maize crop this year than the 12.12 million tonnes reaped in 2012.
But a drought in Free State and North West provinces, which together produce more than half of the country's maize, affected yields.
Last week, the North West province declared a drought across its whole territory.
Dry conditions and low levels in dams needed for irrigation will raise concerns about planting as farmers prepare fields.
South African maize is usually sown in the early stages of the summer and rainy season from October to December. - Reuters