Growers will probably reap 16.74 million metric
tons of corn in the 2016 to 2017 season, Lusani Ndou, a senior statistician at
the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee, said by phone on Thursday. That’s
more than double the 7.78 million tons produced a year earlier when the worst
drought since records began more than a century ago reduced the harvest to a
The bumper crop has helped support the economy, which emerged from a recession
in the second quarter. The agriculture sector surged an annualised 34% in the
second quarter from the previous three months, while slowing food-price growth
has helped limit inflation this year.
The committee raised its corn-crop estimate by 2% from the 16.41 million tons
it projected in August. The harvest is split between white and yellow corn.
Other forecasts from the CEC included:
• White corn estimate was increased 2.5% to 9.89 million tons.
• Yellow corn estimate was increased 1.4% to 6.85 million tons.
• Wheat production estimated at 1.72 million tons, 10% lower than a year
earlier. The committee predicted 1.6 million tons in August.