South Africa May Lower Wheat-Area Estimate by 2.4%, Survey Shows

South Africa will probably raise its estimate for the area planted with wheat by 2.4 percent, a survey showed. The nation is set to leave its production forecasts for corn and wheat unchanged.

Farmers may plant 495,500 hectares (1.2 million acres) with wheat, according to a median forecast of three analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The range was 490,000 to 500,500 hectares. That compares with the 484,000 hectares predicted by the country’s Crop Estimates Committee on July 29. The committee will release its next estimate on Aug. 27.

While the country is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain, it’s still a net importer of wheat, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Local farmers will probably harvest 1.87 million metric tons of wheat this season, according to a median prediction of three analysts in a Bloomberg survey. That would match 2013 production, data for which was released on May 6.

The estimate for corn production will probably be unchanged from the previous prediction at 14.02 million tons, a Bloomberg survey of five analysts showed. That would be the largest since 1981, when South Africa produced 14.1 million tons.

The nation is the continent’s largest producer of the grain and white corn is used to make a staple food known locally as pap, while the yellow variety is mainly fed to animals.

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