File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - South Africa is likely to raise its maize output estimates for this year after late summer rains earlier this month brought relief to drought-hit parts of the country, a Reuters survey showed on Monday.

The government's Crop Estimate Committee (CEC) is likely to say the maize output forecast is now 12.7 million tonnes from last month's estimate of 12.403 million tonnes, according to an average estimate of five traders polled by Reuters.

The estimates ranged between 12.5 million tonnes and 13.0 million tonnes.

“With all the good rain, we expect the crop yield to increase,” a trader said.

The CEC will release its second production forecast for summer crops on Thursday.

Maize is the staple crop in South Africa and a bigger crop this year will be a relief for the country as stocks are currently running low.

The country has had to import yellow maize this year after huge export demand and local consumption depleted stocks. - Reuters