SOUTH AFRICA – The expected maize harvest has been estimated at 15.631-million tonnes in 2017 — the largest maize crop to date in the country.

In its fourth production estimate report for the year, the Crop Estimates Committee said on Friday it had revised the maize output estimate 7.54% higher against the previous estimate.

Favourable weather conditions enabled farmers to increase the area planted for summer crops, with maize output now expected to be 101% more in 2017 than it was in 2016.

The expected crop has already led to a significant decrease in grain prices in anticipation of the harvest.

The benefits of the bumper crop include lower food prices for consumers.

Consumer inflation has been slowing steadily this year. Inflation for April came in better than expected on Wednesday at an increase of 5.3% from a year earlier.

The white maize futures contracts for July delivery settled at R1,735 per tonne on the JSE’s commodity derivatives market on Friday.

This was down considerably from R5,000 per tonne just over a year ago.

May 26, 2017: BD Live