Farmers will likely harvest 13.2-million tonnes of maize this year, which is 2% higher than the previous estimate, released in May.

Still, the maize harvest will be 21% smaller than last year’s crop, which was the highest yet produced in SA at 16.82-million tonnes, the crop estimates committee said in a statement on Wednesday.

Grain prices have been relatively stable after falling sharply last year as a result of the large harvest and a stronger rand.

Free State, Mpumalanga and North West are expected to produce 82% of the maize, which is used predominantly as an input in food production.

Production for white maize is estimated at 6.880-million tonnes, which is 2.67% more than what was estimated in May. Yellow maize is forecast at 6.327-million tonnes, up 2% from the prior estimate.

The output for soybeans is forecast to be the largest on record, at 1.551-million tonnes, up 8.42% on the previous forecast. Sunflower held steady at 792,225 tonnes.

SA is projected to consume about 10.8-million tonnes in the 2018-19 marketing season that started in May.