South Africa 2014 Corn Exports Rise 13% With Japan Biggest Buyer

South Africa, the biggest corn on the continent, said exports of the grain climbed 13 percent in the 2014 season from a year earlier.

Shipments of both white and yellow corn jumped to 2.04 million metric tons in the marketing year that ended on April 25, the Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said on its website. That compares with 1.81 million tons the year earlier. Japan was the biggest buyer at 596,315 tons, followed by Zimbabwe at 283,533 tons.

The Crop Estimates Committee raised its corn-output estimate in March and this month after rainfall in February and last month helped yields. Local farmers may grow 13.03 million tons of corn this year, making it the biggest harvest since 1981, according to the committee. South Africans use the white variety to make a staple food known as pap while the yellow type is mainly fed to animals.

Yellow corn exports more than doubled to 1.12 million tons this season, compared to 413,152 tons in the previous year, the committee said. Shipments of the white variety fell 34 percent to 919,199 tons, it said.

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