Bloomberg News

South Africa Reduces Corn-Crop Forecast by 3.4%

March 27, 2012

(Corrects to show last year’s harvest was smaller in second paragraph.)

South Africa, the biggest corn producer on the continent, reduced its forecast for production of the grain this year by 3.4 percent because of a lack of rain in growing regions, according to the Crop Estimates Committee.

The nation may reap 11.3 million metric tons of corn this season, Baldwin Netshifhefhe, the committee’s principal statistician, said by phone from Pretoria today. South Africa produced 10.4 million tons of corn last year.

The forecast includes 6.5 million tons of white corn and 4.8 million tons of yellow, he said. The total forecast compares with last month’s estimate of 11.7 million tons and is below the 11.4 million-ton median estimate by eight traders surveyed by Bloomberg News.

“Expected production was lowered because of a mid-season dry spell in in February, which affected crop yields,” Netshifhefhe said.

Prices for white corn, the nation’s staple food, have risen 43 percent over the past year on the South African Futures Exchange. The grain for July delivery closed at 2,305 rand ($304) a ton today and reached an intraday record of 2,340 rand yesterday. Yellow corn for July delivery closed at 2,203 rand a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tshepiso Mokhema in Johannesburg at tmokhema@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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