Bloomberg News

South African White Corn Gains to Two-Month High as Rand Drops

June 11, 2013

South African white-corn futures rose to the highest level in more than two months as the rand weakened to a fresh four-year low against the dollar, raising the price of imported varieties of the grain.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, gained 0.9 percent to 2,370 rand ($231) a metric ton, the highest since March 26, by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month increased 0.8 percent to 2,349.60 rand a ton.

The currency, which has fallen 18 percent against the dollar this year, slid to the weakest level since March 11, 2009, as South Africa’s mining production output unexpectedly fell 0.4 percent in April compared to a year earlier, the statistics agency said today.

“The main reason for the upward movement in maize today is due to the rand testing levels last seen in 2009,” Benjamin Swanepoel, a trader at Trademar Futures (Pty) Ltd., said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The nation did not import any corn, also called maize, in the week to June 7, the Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said in a statement on its website. The country shipped 63,359 tons of the yellow variety in that period, which included 39,324 tons to Japan and 20,376 tons to Taiwan.

Meal made from white corn is a staple food in the country, while the yellow variant is mainly used as animal feed in the continent’s largest producer of the grain.

Wheat climbed for a third day, rising 1.2 percent to 3,680 rand a ton. South Africa imported 19,753 tons of wheat from Australia last week, Sagis said.

The nation, a net importer of wheat, is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia and the region’s biggest importer after Nigeria and Sudan, according to the U.S. department of Agriculture data.

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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