Grain prices dropped further this past week as early projections painted a favourable outlook for SA’s main crops, ranging from maize to wheat. The country’s food producers stand to be the biggest beneficiaries in terms of lowering their input costs. Just a little more than a year ago, white maize and wheat traded well above the R5,000 a tonne mark on the JSE’s commodity derivatives market, reflecting at the time mounting concerns about the effects of the drought on the grain supplies, as well as a sharply weaker rand. The price of white maize had increased substantially relative to the yellow maize variety because it is not readily available on the international market. But the situation has changed since then, with white maize for July delivery now fetching R1, 932 a tonne as of Friday on expectation of a much better harvest in 2017. SA will likely harvest 13.9-million tonnes of maize in 2017, which is nearly double the previous year’s 7.77-million tonnes, according to the prelimi...

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