Corn prices in South Africa increased as the rand weakened against the dollar, making imports more expensive relative to locally produced grain.
White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, rose 1.5 percent to 2,304 rand ($231) a metric ton by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange, paring the drop over the past five days to 2.7 percent, the first weekly decline in four. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month gained 1.7 percent to 2,281 rand a ton.
The rand declined amid speculation investors in South Africa’s renewable-energy program are hedging the costs of importing machinery. The currency’s three month historical volatility against the dollar was 14 percent today, the highest among the 24 most-traded emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
“The extremely volatile rand is making our prices go high,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Johannesburg-based Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone.
South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of corn. Meal from the white variety is a staple food while yellow is mainly used as animal feed.
Wheat for delivery in July rose 0.1 percent to close at 3,615 rand a ton.
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