South Africa Seen Cutting Wheat-Output Forecast, Survey Shows

South African Grain Store Operated By Kaap Agri

While South Africa is the sub-Saharan region’s biggest producer of the grain after Ethiopia, it’s still a net importer of wheat, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Photographer: Nadine Hutton/Bloomberg
  • Output seen falling as growing area remains dry in season
  • Corn-output forecast may be raised 0.1% from August estimate

South Africa will probably cut its wheat-production forecast for this season by 1.2 percent, with the harvest seen as the smallest in six years, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Local farmers will probably produce 1.67 million metric tons in the 2015-16 season, according to a median prediction of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would be less than the Crop Estimates Committee’s 1.69 million-ton forecast last month and the lowest since 2010. The range was 1.59 million tons to 1.69 million tons. The CEC will release its data at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

While South Africa is the sub-Saharan region’s biggest producer of the grain after Ethiopia, it’s still a net importer of wheat, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. The country’s wheat industry wants grading and planting rules for the cereal relaxed to help increase yields and revive production after farmers sowed the smallest area since 1931 this season, the biggest grains lobby said earlier this year.

South Africa will probably raise its estimate for this year’s corn output by 0.1 percent to 9.85 million tons, a median of six analysts in the survey showed. That compares with last month’s 9.84 million-ton prediction and would be the smallest since 7.13 million tons in 2007.

The analysts’ estimates ranged from 9.84 million tons to 9.9 million tons. Farmers reaped 14.3 million tons in 2014, the most in 33 years.

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