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South Africa Buys Ukrainian Yellow Corn, Sagis Says

(Corrects story first published on April 15 after Grain Information Service says corn was bought from Ukraine and not Russia. Also removes all references to Russia in the story.)

South Africa, the continent’s biggest corn producer, imported the yellow variety of the grain from Ukraine last week.

The European nation shipped 29,201 metric tons in the week ended April 11, the Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said in a statement on its website today.

South African prices of both yellow and white corn rose to records earlier this year as a drought in some growing areas curbed output. Grain SA, which represents commercial farmers in the country, said in January that stocks would be tight for the rest of the season, until the harvest begins in April.

Meal made from the white variety is used to make a staple food known as pap, while the yellow type is mainly fed to animals.

South Africa’s first imports of yellow corn in almost two years were made in the week ended March 21, when it brought in 13,842 tons from Ukraine, the grain information service said. Ukraine is set to be the world’s third-biggest corn exporter this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee on March 27 raised its forecast for corn production this season 4.5 percent. The harvest may be the largest since 1981, it said.

Farmers may grow 12.95 million tons this year, the committee predicted, raising its estimate for output of white corn by 7 percent to 7.01 million tons and that for the yellow type by 1.6 percent to 5.95 million tons.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tshepiso Mokhema in Johannesburg at tmokhema1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net; Ana Monteiro at amonteiro4@bloomberg.net; Indranil Ghosh at ighosh@bloomberg.net

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