Record maize crop expected

The CEC has predicted a maize crop for the 2014/2015 marketing year of 13,54 million tons off a planted area of 2,5 million hectares. This will be the largest maize harvest since 1981, when 14.4 million tons was harvested. The CEC attributed the expected bumper harvest to favourable weather conditions over the main production areas.

The estimate was up from the previous forecast of 13,02 million tons.

The maize crop will consist of an estimated 7,52 million tons of white maize and 6,02 million tons of yellow maize, said the CEC. According to a Reuters poll the estimate was higher than market expectations of 13,27 million tons.

Maize prices hit record highs of more than R3 300/t earlier this year but have since retreated on the expected large crop, which should ease food inflation pressures.

“Maize farmers who don’t have contracts will have to take spot prices on the day that may hit rock bottom,” said Dawid Snyman Absa Agri-intelligence specialist.

“The feed price should come down providing some relief to the poultry, pork, dairy and feedlot industries.”

View the fourth production forecast for summer crops for 2014 by the Crop Estimates Committee.