South Africa is likely to cut its forecast for this year’s maize crop as dry weather conditions in the main growing areas dashes prospects for better yields, a survey showed on Wednesday. In its first production forecast last month, the South African government said farmers were likely to harvest 12.35 million tonnes of maize in 2013, from 11.83 million tonnes last year.
But recently dry conditions have hit the provinces of Free State and North West, which together produce more than half of the country’s maize crop. An average forecast of five trading houses polled by Reuters showed traders now expect the 2013 crop to come in at 11.5 million tonnes. The estimates ranged between 11.3 million tonnes and 11.8 million tonnes.