SA in for lower food prices

Grain market analyst Deon Scheepers says heavy rain in March resulted in a bumper maize crop.

FILE: Grain market analyst Deon Scheepers says heavy rain in March resulted in a bumper maize crop. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Heavy rain that lashed parts of eastern South Africa in March will lead to lower food prices, an agricultural economist said on Wednesday.

Grain market analyst Deon Scheepers says the rain created a bumper maize crop.

South Africa is expected to have the biggest maize crop in over 30 years.

Maize is a big component of the basket of goods used to determine consumer price inflation (CPI).

Scheepers says the wet weather made a huge difference.

"We had a good agricultural season that we're coming out of now and that of course is the crop that's being harvested as we speak. The eastern part of the country is basically done. The western part of the country is still hard at harvest.

Scheepers adds the rain came at just the right time.

"It was in the midst of that growth season, which is about February and March, that we had the huge rains, which is in the middle of the plant cycle as well."