Bloomberg News

South African Corn Gains on Weaker Rand, Concern About Crop Size

April 12, 2013

South African corn futures closed at the highest in more than a week after the rand weakened against the dollar and on concern the country’s crop will be smaller than an earlier forecast.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, rose 1.6 percent to 2,180 rand ($244) a metric ton, the highest since April 3 on the South African Futures Exchange. The yellow variety for the same month’s delivery, increased 1.4 percent to 2,146 rand a ton.

The rand retreated 0.4 percent to 8.9302 per dollar by 2:59 p.m. in Johannesburg, as investors bet that a rally which took took the currency to a six-week high was overdone. A weaker rand makes imports more expensive.

“The rand has weakened a bit and the market is still uncertain about the lower crop predicted by the Crop Estimates Committee,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone today.

South Africa may reap 11.8 tons of corn this season, the committee said on March 26, less than the 12.4 million-ton prediction made by the committee in February.

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 gained 0.9 percent to 3,375 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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