South Africa May Cut Corn-Output Estimate by 6.5%, Survey Shows

South Africa will probably lower its forecast for corn output by 6.5 percent from last month’s estimate, according to a survey.

Producers may harvest 11.6 million metric tons of corn, according to the median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The range was 10.9 million tons to 12.1 million tons and compares with the 12.4 million-ton prediction the Crop Estimates Committee made on Feb. 26, its first for the season. The committee will release the data on March 26.

“The decrease is due to the drought,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Some of South Africa’s main growing regions have not been receiving sufficient rain for crops to grow, which analysts and traders from BVG (Pty) Ltd., Senwes Ltd. and Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd. say will lead to lower-than-average yields.

No rain has been predicted from today until Friday for Bothaville in the Free State, according to the South African Weather Service. The province produces about 40 percent of the nation’s corn.

South Africa, the largest corn producer on the continent, produced 12.8 million tons in 2010, the biggest crop since 1982. Meal made from white corn is one of the country’s staple foods and the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed. The country produced 11.8 million tons in the 2011-12 season.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, gained 1.2 percent to 2,372 rand ($257) a ton by the close in Johannesburg today. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month rose 0.6 percent to 2,309 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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