South African wheat futures gained for a third day as the rand dropped to the weakest level in more than a month against the dollar, making imports of the grain more expensive than locally produced varieties.
Wheat for delivery in May, the most active contract, gained 1.6 percent to 3,480 rand ($383) a metric ton, the longest rising streak since Jan. 22, by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.
The rand, headed for its biggest weekly drop in five months, extended its decline today after slumping the most in Jan. 28 yesterday. It traded 0.6 percent weaker at 9.0757 by 3:43 p.m.
“The rand has weakened a lot against the dollar, that is why prices are this high,” Benjamin Swanepoel, a trader at Trademar Futures (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg.
South Africa is a net importer of wheat and sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia. The nation is the region’s biggest importer after Nigeria and Sudan, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
White corn for delivery in July rose 3.8 percent to 2,190 rand a ton, while the yellow variety for delivery in the same month gained 3.6 percent to 2,159 rand a ton.
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