South Africa cut its forecast for wheat output by 0.1 percent because of lower yields in the Free State province, according to the Crop Estimates Committee.
The nation probably produced 1.75 million metric tons for the 2013 season, Marda Scheepers, a senior statistician at the Pretoria-based committee, said by phone today. The median estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for the prediction to be unchanged from the committee’s Nov. 26 forecast of 1.752 million tons. The country’s farmers produced 1.87 million tons in the previous season.
South Africa, a net importer of wheat, is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia and the region’s biggest buyer after Nigeria and Sudan, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Wheat for delivery this month rose for the first time in five days on South African Futures Exchange, adding 0.9 percent to 3,562 rand ($341) a ton by the close.
The committee lowered its forecast for output of malting barley 5.6 percent to 263,602 tons and increased its estimate for canola production by 3.3 percent to 112,041 tons.
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