JOHANNESBURG, April 25 (Reuters) - South Africa will likely harvest 3 percent more maize in 2018 than previously forecast as a result of favourable weather conditions, the government’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Wednesday.
The CEC estimated the 2018 harvest at 12.826 million tonnes compared with the 12.42 million tonnes it forecast in March.
The estimate consists of 6.629 million tonnes of white maize, the staple crop, and 6.197 million tonnes of the yellow variety mostly used for animal feed.
The forecast slightly exceeded a poll of five traders and market analysts that pegged the harvest at 12.75 million tonnes.
A solid harvest should add to downward pressure on food prices, which have been slowing on expectations of a good crop, helping to pull inflation in Africa’s most industrialised economy down to seven-year lows. (Reporting by Patricia Aruo Editing by Ed Stoddard)