Grain SA: Drought conditions hit South African maize belt

Grain SA says the western part of the country's maize belt has been hit by drought & farmers there have only planted 70 to 75 percent of the area they had intended to.

Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The western part of South Africa's maize belt has been hit by drought and farmers there have only planted 70 to 75 percent of the area they had intended to, industry group Grain SA said on Monday.

With the window of planting opportunity fast closing, the unexpected onset of dry conditions in the key maize-growing provinces of North West and the Free State could push depressed futures prices higher with implications for South Africa's inflation outlook.