Bloomberg News

South Africa May Raise Corn-Crop Forecast by 1.9%, Survey Shows

August 21, 2012

South Africa, the continent’s largest corn producer, will probably increase its forecast for this season’s production of the grain by 1.9 percent, a survey showed.

The government may say farmers will reap 11 million metric tons of corn in the season that started May 1, compared with a July 24 forecast of 10.8 million tons, according to the median estimate of eight traders surveyed by Bloomberg News. Estimates ranged from 10.7 million tons to 11.4 million tons. The nation produced 10.4 million tons of corn last year.

“We are very happy with the progress made in this harvest, I am confident we will exceed the previous estimate,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg today.

South African farmers probably planted 547,000 hectares (1.4 million acres) of land with wheat, 0.1 percent more than the previous forecast of 546,700 hectares, according to a median estimate of six traders surveyed by Bloomberg News. That would still be the smallest area since at least 1931, when records began, according to the nation’s Crop Estimates Committee.

The country may reap 1.75 million tons of wheat this season, 13 percent less than a year earlier, according to the median estimate of five analysts. Estimates ranged from 1.64 million tons to 1.9 million tons.

The government’s Crop Estimates Committee is scheduled to announce its projections Aug. 28 at 3:30 p.m. in Pretoria.

White corn for December delivery, the most active contract, rose 0.4 percent to 2,806 rand ($341) a ton by the close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety, used mainly as animal feed, closed at 2,775 rand a ton. Wheat for the delivery in the same month fell 0.1 percent to 3,508 rand.

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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