Bloomberg News

South African Corn Gains to Three-Month High on Weather Concern

March 22, 2013

South African corn futures rose to the highest level in more than three months on concern that hot weather and insufficient rain in the main growing areas of the country will curb output.

White corn for July delivery, the most active contract, gained 1.7 percent to 2,394.80 rand ($257) a metric ton, the highest since Nov. 29, in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month, increased 1.7 percent to 2,335 rand a ton.

No rain has been predicted today for Bothaville in the Free State, the province which produces 40 percent of the nation’s corn. Rain has been forecast for tomorrow until March 28, the South African Weather Service said on its website.

“People aren’t trusting that the rain forecast for next week will be sufficient,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone in Pretoria. “It has been hot.”

The country may lower its forecast for corn output by 6.5 percent from last month’s estimate, according to a median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Producers will probably harvest 11.6 million tons of corn due to the lack of rain that has been experienced in growing regions, which may lead to lower-than-average yields.

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

Wheat for May delivery advanced 1.2 percent to 3,510 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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