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SA maize expected to be slightly higher than previous estimate

Better yields and early deliveries improve estimates.

South Africa’s 2019 maize harvest forecast is expected to be 0.17% higher than August’s estimate on better yields and early deliveries, a Reuters survey showed on Friday.

The government’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to peg the harvest at 11.035 million tonnes, up from its August estimate of 11.016 million tonnes, a poll of five traders and market analysts showed.

The CEC will provide its eighth and final production forecast for the 2018/19 season on Friday.

“Maize deliveries for the 2019 season thus far, including early deliveries between March and April 2019, as well as expected forecasted deliveries …suggest that we could see a slight increase in the headline crop estimate figure,” said Warren Langridge, a trader at Riddermark Capital.

The poll sees the 2019 harvest consisting of 5.548 million tonnes of the food staple white maize and 5.487 tonnes of yellow maize, which is used mainly in animal feed.

The estimate for the 2018/2019 season is 13% lower than the 12.510 million tonnes harvested in 2017/2018, after dry weather delayed plantings.

The crop is expected to be larger than the country’s annual consumption of about 10 million tonnes. 

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