A woman roasts maize cobs on the side of the road in Lawley informal settlement in the south of Johannesburg, South Africa, April 24, 2019. REUTERS-Siphiwe Sibeko

South African maize farmers are expected to harvest more maize in 2020 compared with the previous season on the back of favourable weather conditions, a Reuters survey showed on Tuesday.

South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) is expected to forecast this year’s maize production at 15.46 million tonnes, up from 11.275 million tonnes harvested in the previous year, an average estimate by five traders and analysts showed.

The estimate is also 1.57% higher than the CEC’s latest forecast in April of 15.221 million tonnes.

The traders’ estimates ranged from 15.3 million tonnes to 15.6 million tonnes.

“We expect higher yields in most regions of the country,” said Wandile Sihlobo, chief economist for the Agricultural Business Chamber.

“At the moment, the focus is on the harvest activity in the country, although we are experiencing a late start of it.”

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