Maize harvest production set to drop in 2018

JOHANNESBURG – Farmers are likely to harvest a smaller maize crop in 2018‚ thanks to lower grain prices that came as a result of a bumper harvest in 2017.

In its first production estimate report for 2018‚ the crop estimates committee said on Tuesday that producers would harvest about 12.2-million tonnes of maize in 2018‚ which represents a 27 percent decrease from the season just passed.

READ: Record maize crop good news for farmers

The area planted with maize also dropped 12.4 percent to 2.3-million hectares‚ according to preliminary estimates.

In 2017‚ farmers harvested a record 16.8-million tonnes‚ an outcome that helped drive food prices significantly lower‚ helped by a much stronger rand.

Food inflation moderated to an annual rate of 4.6 percent in January‚ from 4.9 percent in the December‚ reflecting lower grain prices.

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