South Africa on Wednesday raised its 2015 forecast of maize output to 9.762 million tonnes from 9.666 million tonnes in its previous forecast due to better than expected yields in Mpumalanga province, a maize heartland.
The maize crop will consist of an estimated 4.659 million tonnes of white maize and 5.104 million tonnes of yellow, the government’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said in its third forecast for the 2015 crop.
The harvest estimate slightly fell short of the market’s expectations of 9.82 million tonnes, according to a Reuters poll.
The estimated output is about a third below last year’s harvest due to severe drought in some the crop-producing regions of South Africa. In March traders began importing yellow maize for animal feed from Argentina as stocks ran low.
The CEC also said South African farmers intended to plant 481,300 hectares of wheat this year, from 476,570 hectares in 2014.