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Recent Rains Lift Expectations for South Africa’s Grain Harvest

Recent rains in South Africa have lifted expectations for the country’s wheat harvest. Corn output, however, will still lag behind last year after this year has brought the worst drought conditions since 1904, when record-keeping began.

South Africa is expected to see a 17 percent jump in its wheat crop this season as better growing conditions have prompted farmers to plant more acreage. The total wheat harvest is expected to reach 1.68 million tons, compared to 1.44 million tons last year, after the country’s farmers planted 498,150 hectares – a 2.4 percent increase above the expected 486,500 hectares.

The country’s canola harvest could reach 102,000 tons – 9.7 percent above last year, as farmers planted 68,000 hectares, while the country’s corn harvest could reach 7.3 million tons – 27 percent less than last year, but 0.5 percent higher than what was expected last month. Meanwhile, the country’s sunflower seed production is expected to hold steady at 742,750 tons.

Although the rainfall is a welcome relief, the country is still expected to have to import 3.8 million tons of corn to meet domestic demand due to recent drought conditions,

according to Grain South Africa.

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