News last update:6 Aug 2012

South Africa harvested more corn than expected

Africa's biggest corn producer, South Africa, harvested 6.62 million metric tonnes of the commodity this year, or 5.4% more than forecast, the country's Crop Estimates Committee said in its final assessment of the harvest.

Farmers harvested 4.19 million tonnes of white corn, 7.6% more than forecast, and 3.43 million tonnes of yellow corn, 1.8% more than forecast in September, the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee said on its website. The committee missed its aim of forecasting the crop within 5% of the final total.

The expected decline in the crop, which is the smallest in a decade and compares with the 11.45 million tons' harvest of 2005, helped drive up corn prices this year. White corn, used mainly to make South Africa's staple food of corn meal, climbed 28% on the South African Futures Exchange this year while yellow corn, used as animal feed, jumped 46%.

The sorghum crop of 96,000 tons was 7% bigger than expected, the committee said.

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