S. African Farmers to Plant 2.74 Million Hectares Corn in Season

Farmers in South Africa, the continent’s largest corn producer, are expected to plant 1.3 percent more of the grain this season, the nation’s Crop Estimates Committee announced.

The country will sow 2.74 million hectares (6.77 million acres) with corn, including 1.6 million with white and 1.14 million hectares with the yellow variety, compared with 2.69 million hectares planted in the previous season, Marda Scheepers, a spokeswoman for the committee, said by phone from Pretoria today. That compares with a 2.6 million-hectare median estimate of five traders surveyed by Bloomberg News Oct 18.

“This is because of better prices and crop-rotation practices by farmers,” Scheepers said.

White corn is one of the nation’s staple foods, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

The committee kept its forecast for wheat output unchanged at 1.76 million metric tons. South Africa is a net importer of the cereal.

White corn for December delivery, the most active contract, declined 1.2 percent to 2,513.80 rand ($289) a ton by the close in Johannesburg. Yellow corn for delivery in the same month fell 0.7 percent to 2,548.80 rand a ton. Wheat climbed 0.2 percent to 3,649 rand a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tshepiso Mokhema in Johannesburg at tmokhema@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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