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Maize forecast seen down slightly from previous

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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) predicted to slightly lower its summer maize forecast if it gives its third estimate in the near future but a bumper harvest remains seen, a Reuters survey of four analysts and institutions showed on Thursday.?

The CEC, that provides its next forecast on Tuesday, is viewed pegging the harvest at 14.175 million tonnes, about 1% under its previous estimate of 14.32 million tonnes.

This would certainly be over 82% a lot more than the 7.78 million tonnes reaped in 2009, when drought hit the crop, pushing up food prices and inflation. The mix was 13.5 to 14.Six million tonnes.

This season’s crop has benefited hugely from good rains but Wandile Sihlobo, an economist at the Agricultural Business Chamber, said yields might be depressed slightly in elements of the country’s maize belt where plantings were late and recent rainfall has become scattered.

The white maize contract due in July was 1.15% lower on Thursday at R1 879 a tonne, around 65% under record peaks of well over R5 000 a tonne scaled early last year while in the drought.

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