Grain crop estimates rise steadily

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JOHANNESBURG, 31 August 2016 - Output is likely to increase by 68-percent in the next financial year compared to the current season. The expected improvement in maize production will enable South Africa to produce 12. 9 million tons next season

JOHANNESBURG, 31 August 2016 - Output is likely to increase by 68-percent in the next financial year compared to the current season. The expected improvement in maize production will enable South Africa to produce 12. 9 million tons next season

JOHANNESBURG - The agriculture department crop estimates committee has made a slight upward adjustment of SA’s maize and wheat harvest forecast for 2016.

A prolonged drought during the past two seasons has lowered the expected maize yield by almost a third from a usual harvest of 12-million tons to about 7.536-million tonnes.

That‚ however‚ is 3‚3% higher than the previous forecast.

The committee expects wheat production to be 1.7-million tonnes from last year’s 1.4-million tonnes.

The latest estimate is 1% or 17‚350 tonnes more than the previous forecast.

The adjustment is due to good rains in winter-crop districts.

READ: Drought hits development projects in southern Africa

On Tuesday the December 2016 wheat future contract was valued at R4‚088 rand a tonne‚ while the yellow maize contract was valued at R3‚008 rand a tonne.

The committee expects sunflower seed production to be 755‚000 tonnes‚ 1‚65% or 12‚250 tonnes more than the previous forecast.

The production estimate for soybeans decreased to 741‚550 tons‚ which is 1‚16% or 8‚700 tonnes less than the previous forecast.