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South Africa's 2015 corn estimate raised slightly higher

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa slightly raised its 2015 corn output forecast to 9.838 million tons on Wednesday, the government's Crop Estimates Committee said, after silo delivery data suggested the yellow corn crop was a bit bigger than previously...

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JOHANNESBURG - South Africa slightly raised its 2015 corn output forecast to 9.838 million tons on Wednesday, the government's Crop Estimates Committee said, after silo delivery data suggested the yellow corn crop was a bit bigger than previously thought.

South Africa is still expected to reap its lowest staple crop harvest since 2007, forecast to be a third less compared with the 2014 crop due to scorching drought which last month pushed prices to record highs.

The crop in Africa's biggest producer will consist of an estimated 4.65 million tons of white corn and 5.18 million tons of yellow, the CEC said in its seventh forecast for the year.

This outpaced market expectations of a 9.74 million ton forecast, according to a Reuters poll.

The CEC also gave its first production prediction for the winter wheat crop, forecasting a crop of 1.69 million tons, which would be the lowest since 2010 and down 3.4 percent from last season.

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The price of the white corn contract for delivery in December has fallen 9 percent from record peaks above 3,400 rand a tonscaled last month, largely because of a decline in global prices sparked by jitters about Chinese growth.

But domestic futures prices are still up about 45 percent this year, putting pressure on inflation at a time when the gold and coal mining industries are in protracted wage talks with unions.

Related Topics: CROPSCORN
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