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SA could see biggest maize harvest in 30 years

After late season rains boosted yields.

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa is likely to raise its maize output forecast for 2014 after late season rains boosted yields, a Reuters survey showed on Wednesday, putting the country on track for its biggest harvest in more than three decades.

The government’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is likely to raise the forecast for the year to 13.1 million tonnes from a previous estimate of 12.955 million tonnes, according to an average estimate of four trading houses polled by Reuters.

The estimates ranged between 13.0 million tonnes and 13.333 million tonnes.

The CEC said last month a harvest of about 13 million tonnes or above will be the largest since 1981, when the maize crop was 14.4 million tonnes.

The committee will release its third production forecast for summer crops and intentions to plant for winter crops on Thursday.

Maize is the staple crop in South Africa and a bigger crop will be a relief for the country after stocks from last year were depleted by large export commitments.

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