South African farmers expected to harvest slightly more maize than previous estimate

A woman roasts maize cobs on the side of the road in Lawley informal settlement in the south of Johannesburg, South Africa, April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s 2018/2019 maize crop is expected to be slightly higher than the previous estimate, boosted by higher yellow maize yields in the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces, the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Tuesday.

The CEC, which gave its tenth and final estimate for the season, estimated maize production at 11.258 million tonnes compared with the October estimate of 11.186 million tonnes.

The crop is expected to consist of 5.719 million tonnes yellow maize, used mainly in animal feed and 5.538 million tonnes of the staple white maize.

This figure is lower than the 12.244 million tonnes predicted in a Reuters survey.

The latest CEC estimate is 10.54% lower than the 12.510 million tonnes harvested in the 2017/2018 season after dry weather conditions delayed plantings and impacted yields.

Reporting By Naledi Mashishi; editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

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