JOHANNESBURG, March 25 (Reuters) – South African farmers to harvest 4% more maize in the 2020/2021 season compared with the previous season as favourable weather conditions boosted yields, the government’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) said on Thursday.

The CEC estimates the 2021 harvest at 15.922 million tonnes- its second highest crop on record- up from the 15.300 million tonnes harvested last season.

The forecast, the CEC’s second for the season, expects the 2021 maize crop to be 0.5% higher than its February estimate of 15.849 million tonnes.

The harvest is expected to consist of 8.796 million tonnes of white maize, used for human consumption, and 7.126 million tonnes of yellow maize, used mainly in animal feed, to have been planted.

The governments estimate is slightly lower than a Reuters poll of five traders and analysts that pegged the staple crops output at 16.289 million tonnes. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg Editing by Nqobile Dludla)

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