SA’s 2020 maize harvest seen up 33% from last season

South African maize farmers are expected to harvest 33% more maize in the 2019/20 season compared with the previous season, boosted by improved weather, a Reuters survey showed on Friday.

South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast maize production at 15.049 million tones for the crop to be harvested in 2020, up from 11.275 million tonnes harvested in the previous year when dry conditions affected planting, an average estimate by five traders and analysts showed.

The estimate is also 1.6% higher than the CEC’s latest forecast in March of 14.809 million tonnes.

The estimates ranged between 14.9 million tonnes and 15.3 million tonnes.

The survey showed the crop is expected to consist of 9.498 million tonnes of white maize used mainly for human consumption, and 5.530 million tonnes of yellow maize used in animal feed.

The CEC will issue its third production forecast for 2020 summer crops on April 29.