Bloomberg News

South African White Corn Gains Most Since July on Dry Weather

February 14, 2013

South African white-corn futures rose the most in seven months on speculation that insufficient rain will fall over the country’s main growing areas of Free State and North West provinces.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, surged 4.3 percent to 1,941 rand ($219) a metric ton by the close in Johannesburg. That’s the biggest increase for a a generic contract since July 3. The yellow variety jumped 4.2 percent to 1,979 rand a ton.

There is no rain forecast today for Bothaville in the Free State province, where 40 percent of the grain is grown, according to the South African Weather Service. There will be rain tomorrow and Feb. 16, and none Feb. 17 in that region. Rain is expected today in Lichtenburg, North West province, the second-largest grower, with none expected for Feb. 17.

“The price being so high is as a result of the dry weather in the Free State and North West provinces,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg. “Rain is needed at this stage.”

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

Wheat increased 1.4 percent to 3,469 rand a ton. The nation is a net importer of the grain.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tshepiso Mokhema in Johannesburg at tmokhema@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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