Maize crop estimate seen unchanged
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
SOUTH Africa’s maize production estimate is expected to remain unchanged when the Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) releases the revised area and fifth production forecasts on 2011-12 summer crops on Tuesday.
According to an I-Net Bridge survey of traders, the committee will have a better sense of the crop yields next month, when the majority of the crop is expected to have been harvested.
Maize deliveries -- both white and yellow -- to silos in the new marketing season that began on May 1 currently stand at 4,644-million tons.
"There are conflicting views at this stage among the farmers about the crop yields realised, while the harvest process is in full swing.
"My call is that the CEC will maintain the current estimates for now," said Thys Grobbelaar, a trader at agribusiness Senwes.
The size of the expected commercial maize crop was revised lower for the third time in a row last month, to 11,056-million tons.
Mid-season dry spells in February and March negatively affected crop yields. Maize is a significant input in a vast amount of food production.
Danie Smith, head of trading at NWK, said: "I suspect the committee will keep the current status quo until next month, when it will have some idea of the crop size, and this is due to the late planting season we have had."
Rudi Swanepoel, a trader at Farmwise Grains, holds the same view that there will be no change to the committee’s current stance.
Belinda Cooper, an independent trader, said: "It is a bit of a dicey one to call, given mixed messages we have received from producers.
"But I do think the CEC will probably defer its decision to next month, when the majority of the crop is expected to have come through.
Andrew Fletcher, a trader at Unigrain, said the initial reaction from farmers had been for low production estimates.
The CEC will release the report at 3.30pm on Tuesday.