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Drought pushes SA maize imports to highest since '93

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Johannesburg - South Africa became a net importer of the grain for the first time since 2008 this year, bringing in the most in two decades after the worst drought in more than a century hurt local output.

The nation imported 1.96 million metric tons of corn in the marketing year ended April 29, Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said in a statement on its website. That’s the most since 1993. Exports were 683 523 tons, it said. 

South Africa last year had the least rainfall since records started in 1904, damaging crops and raising prices. It may need to import 3.8 million tons of yellow and white corn this year to bolster domestic supplies, according to Grain SA, the biggest lobby group for farmers of corn.

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