Bloomberg News

S. African Wheat Hits 6-Week Low as U.S. Crop Condition Improves

June 27, 2013

South African wheat futures fell to the lowest level in more than six weeks after the condition of the spring crop in the U.S., the biggest exporter, improved.

Wheat for delivery in July fell for a fifth day, declining 1 percent to 3,478 rand ($349.20) a metric ton by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg, the lowest since May 13.

The grain capped its longest slump in six months on the Chicago Board of Trade yesterday when it slid 1.2 percent to $6.77 a bushel. About 70 percent of spring wheat was in good or excellent condition on June 23, from 68 percent the previous week and 64 percent a year ago, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

“Wheat prices went down following U.S. prices due to the crop condition being better than expected,” Kobus Theron, a trader at Suidwes Holdings in Klerksdorp, South Africa, said by phone today. “This means a higher amount of wheat will be available later this year.”

South Africa, 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 USDA data.

White Corn for delivery in December dropped 0.3 percent to 2,362 rand a ton, while the yellow variety increased 0.1 percent to 2,256 rand a ton. Meal from white corn is a staple food while the yellow kind is mainly used as animal feed in South Africa.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amogelang Mbatha in Johannesburg at ambatha@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gordon Bell at gbell16@bloomberg.net


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