South African Wheat at 10-Month High as Global Stocks Seen Lower

South African wheat rose to the highest in 10 months before a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is expected to slow a decline in global stocks of the grain.

Wheat for delivery in December, the most active contract, gained 0.9 percent, the highest since Jan. 19 when the contract started trading, to 3,753 rand ($431) a metric ton by the close in Johannesburg.

Global inventories were forecast to slump to 166.7 million tons from 189.2 million tons a year earlier, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said yesterday. The U.S. government will probably trim its estimate for global stockpiles to 171.5 million tons from last month’s 173 million tons in a report due in Washington today, a Bloomberg survey showed.

“The USDA report is coming out today and expectations from the market are that wheat stocks will be reduced,” Andrew Fletcher, an independent trader, said by phone from Kroonstad in South Africa. “With that momentum carrying on, prices are high today.”

South Africa is a net importer of wheat and sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia. Imports surged to the highest in at least 14 years, the Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said on Oct. 2.

White corn for delivery in December declined 0.4 percent to 2,466 rand a ton, while the yellow variety dropped 0.6 percent to 2,509 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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