South Africa weekly maize exports fall

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JOHANNESBURG — South Africa white maize exports last week fell compared to the week before, trade data showed yesterday, while maize futures also ended lower in line with international corn prices.
The continent’s largest producer of the grain exported 5 653 tonnes of white maize last week compared to 6 730 tonnes in the previous week, the South African Grain Information Service (Sagis) said.
Exports of yellow maize were recorded at 2 431 tonnes, compared to 1 605 tonnes in the week before, Sagis said on its website.
Sagis data showed that Botswana, which grows very little of its grains, was the largest importer of both white maize at 1 928 tonnes and also the yellow maize variety, mainly used in stock feed at 950 tonnes.
The country’s total maize exports in the current season have reached 143 884 tonnes.
South Africa forecasts its 2009/10 maize output at 13 317 million tonnes, the highest production in nearly three decades.
However, farmers in Africa’s largest economy are worried that a huge maize surplus could further reduce prices for the grain and dampen plans to sustain higher maize output, especially if exporters fail to secure markets to cushion the impact of lower domestic prices.
South Africa’s benchmark maize futures ended lower yesterday, with the most active July white maize contract down 0,63% at 1 100 rand a tonne, and July yellow maize futures also down 0,61% to 1 147 rand a tonne.
Corn prices on the Chicago Board of Trade, which local traders watch to remain competitive in markets for which exporters in South Africa and the United States compete, ended down. – Reuters