South Africa's maize planting area up on favourable weather

Electricity pylons of South Africa power utility Eskom are seen above a maize field in Mpumalanga province , north of Johannesburg, in this picture taken March 1,2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African maize farmers are projected to have planted 10% more hectares of the staple crop this season due to favourable weather conditions and attractive prices for white maize, the government’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Wednesday.

Farmers are estimated to have planted 2.535 million hectares of maize in the 2019/20 farming season, compared to the 2.3 million hectares planted last season.

The CEC estimates 1.515 million hectares of white maize, used for human consumption, and 1.020 million hectares of yellow maize used mainly in animal feed to have been planted.

The governments estimate is on par with a Reuters poll of five traders and analysts that pegged the area planted at 2.5 million hectares.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo

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