Bloomberg News

South Africa Corn Rises to More Than 2-Month High on Dry Weather

March 04, 2013

South African corn futures rose to the highest level in more than two months on concern that the dry weather in some of the country’s main growing regions is threatening yields.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, gained 3.7 percent to 2,264 rand ($249) a metric ton, the highest since Dec. 6, by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month also surged 3.7 percent to 2,230 rand a ton.

Bothaville in the Free State province hasn’t had sufficient rains for the past two weeks.

“There was almost no rain in the Free State and most western parts of the country over the weekend, Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Pretoria. ‘‘The market is now giving a clear indication that they are worried about maize. The yield is starting to suffer because of the lack of rain.’’

The country’s Crop Estimates Committee predicts that South African farmers will produce 12.4 million tons of corn, also known as maize, this season, more than what was produced in 2011-12.

The relative strength index for white corn rose to 70.7 today. A reading above 70 is a signal to technical analysts that the price is poised to drop.

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

Wheat for May delivery declined less than 0.1 percent to 3,480 rand a ton.

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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