South Africa Corn Gains as Committee Seen Cutting Crop Size

South African white-corn futures rose to the highest level in more than three months on speculation that the country’s Crop Estimates Committee will lower its grain production outlook.

White corn for July delivery, the most active contract, increased 1.1 percent to 2,400 rand ($259) a metric ton, the highest since Nov. 29, by the noon close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month, gained 1.1 percent to 2,333 rand a ton, the highest since Dec. 5.

The nation will probably produce 6.5 percent less corn than the 12.4 million tons predicted on Feb. 26, according to the median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The range was 10.9 million tons to 12.1 million tons.

“A lot of people are looking out for the crop estimates report and they generally think it will be lower,” Benjamin Swanepoel, a trader at Trademar Futures (Pty) Ltd., said by phone. “My personal opinion is that it will be lowered and they will keep lowering it gradually.”

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 rose 0.2 percent to 3,505.80 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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