Johannesburg - The May 2010-April 2011 maize harvest was
down by almost 20% from the previous season, Business Report wrote on Friday.
The Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) blamed the decrease on
unfavourable weather conditions.
South Africa reaped 10.36 million tonnes of maize in the
2010/11 season against 12.815 million tonnes the previous year.
This was lower than the committee's final forecast of 10.608
The CEC said unpredictable weather patterns affected the
"In some areas there have been prolonged dry spells,
followed by unpredictable rainy periods, which contributed to yield losses for
most of the crops, as well as harvesting difficulties," the committee said
in a statement.
The SA Grain Information Service reported farmers had
brought 9.515 million tonnes of maize to market by the week of November 25.
As Africa's biggest maize producer, South Africa had
attracted new buyers from outside the continent, including South Korea, Japan,
Kuwait, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Portugal and Venezuela.
The industry now feared that most of the maize has been
committed for exports, leaving the country with less for its local consumption,
Business Report said.