PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — Thanks to favorable weather conditions, South Africa is poised to produce a second consecutive bumper corn crop, according to a Jan. 27 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA increased its forecast for the 2020-21 South African corn crop by 14% to 16 million tonnes, which would equal last year’s total and be the second largest in history.

“South Africa had an exceptional start to the 2020-21 marketing year as widespread rains in October and November ensured corn producers completed plantings on time,” the report said. “Favorable weather conditions continued during December and January over most of the summer rainfall region, providing conducive growing conditions.”

The USDA increased its previous estimate for the commercial demand of corn in South Africa for the 2020-21 marketing year by 200,000 tonnes to 11.7 million, driven mainly driven by an increase in human consumption of corn.

With production exceeding consumption, South Africa will remain a net exporter of corn this year. It is projected to ship around 3 million tonnes after exporting about 2.5 million in 2019-20.