South Africa Says 2013 Wheat Harvest Matches 2012 Production

South Africa produced 1.87 million metric tons of wheat in 2013, matching the previous year’s harvest, the Crop Estimates Committee said.

The figure is bigger than the median estimate of 1.81 million tons by three analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Marda Scheepers, a spokeswoman for the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, provided the final figures for the season by phone.

South Africa, which is a net importer of wheat, is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain and the region’s biggest importer after Nigeria and Sudan, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

The country’s canola crop surged 42 percent to 112,000 tons from a year earlier, while malting-barley output fell 10 percent to 267,500 tons.

Wheat plantings for this season probably declined 1 percent to 500,500 hectares (1.2 million acres) from the 2013 season, the committee said in its first estimate for the period on April 24.

The South African wheat price rose 4.2 percent last year. Prices increased for a fourth day today, with the contract for July delivery adding 0.2 percent to 4,065 rand ($386) a ton by the close in Johannesburg.

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