South Africa's second-largest chicken producer, ASTRAL Foods, has cut its
forecast for the 2007 maize crop by 16% due to dry weather
According to CEO Nicolaas Wentzel, the company expects production of 8
million tonnes. However, this is down from the 9,5-million tonnes that was
expected two weeks prior.
â€œIf we do not get rain in the next week, we expect the crop to fall to 8
million tonnes,â€ he said.
In 2006, South Africa, the biggest maize producer in Africa, reaped a
harvest of 6,62 million tonnes, the lowest in a decade. This resulted in prices
maize for July delivery rose R7 (€0.75),
or 0,4%, to R1590 (€
171.35) a tonne on the South African Futures Exchange. The maize, used mainly as
animal feed, has increased 68% in the past 12 months.
maize for March delivery advanced R60, or 3,7%, to close at R1681 (€
181.16) a tonne, surging 74% in the past year.
Wentzel says that Astral plans to take delivery of imported
maize shipments at the end of March and April.
SA imported 741,808 tonnes in the first nine months of the marketing year,
according to the South African Grain Information Service.
South African Grain
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