Bloomberg News

South African Corn Falls Most in Month on Harvest Bets

January 30, 2013

South African corn declined the most in more than a month on speculation there will be a bigger harvest this season.

White corn for March delivery, the most active contract, dropped 2.7 percent, the most since Dec. 27, to 2,130 rand ($235) a metric ton by the close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for July delivery fell 2.3 percent to 2,049 rand a ton.

South African farmers probably planted 2.78 million hectares (6.9 million acres) of corn, or 3 percent more than the previous season, the Crop Estimates Committee said Jan. 24. The generic contract for white corn slumped 11 percent in December, the worst month in four, as good rains boosted plantings.

“It looks like some big harvests are coming in for this season,” Kallie van Heerden, a trader at brokerage Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone in Johannesburg. “Because of the rain, plantings were good.”

South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of corn, also called maize. Yellow corn is mainly used as animal feed while the white variety is a staple food.

Wheat for delivery in March slipped 0.1 percent to 3,655 rand a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tshepiso Mokhema in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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