South Africa May Cut Corn-Output Estimate by 0.9%, Survey Shows

South Africa will probably lower its forecast for corn production this season by 0.9 percent from last month’s prediction, a survey shows.

Farmers in the continent’s largest producer of the grain, will probably produce 11.3 million metric tons of corn, according to a median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. This compares with the 11.4 million-ton forecast made by the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee on May 23. The range was 11.23 million tons to 11.5 million tons. The committee is set to release its prediction on June 25.

Some of South Africa’s main growing regions, including the Free State province, which produces 40 percent of the country’s corn, haven’t received sufficient rain for crops to grow, which analysts and traders from BVG (Pty) Ltd., Senwes Ltd. and Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd. said will lead to lower-than-average yields.

“The yields from the Free State and North West province have been low,” Andrew Fletcher, an independent trader in Kroonstad in the Free State province, said by phone.

In 2010, South Africa produced 12.8 million tons, 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.

Yellow corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, fell 0.6 percent to 2,286 rand ($229) a metric ton, by 9:52 a.m. in Johannesburg. The price of the white variety slipped 0.3 percent to 2,319 rand a ton.

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