South African Wheat Declines Most in 3 Weeks as U.S. Prices Fall

South African wheat futures dropped the most in three weeks as prices for the grain fell in the U.S. after Russian exports and plantings increased.

Wheat for delivery in July, the most active contract, decreased 1 percent, the most since April 2, to 3,440 rand ($372) a metric ton by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.

Wheat for July delivery declined for a second day on the Chicago Board of Trade. Russian farmers planted 2.7 million hectares (6.7 million acres) of spring grains as of yesterday, compared with 1.43 million hectares at the same time a year ago, Interfax reported, citing Agriculture Ministry data. Exports from Russia, the world’s fourth-biggest wheat producer, surged 57 percent in the first 17 days of this month compared with the first 20 days of March, according to the ministry.

“U.S. prices went down today because better planting weather is anticipated,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone.

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

White corn for delivery in July fell 0.4 percent to 2,168 rand a ton, while the yellow variety for delivery in the same month declined 0.2 percent to 2,146.80 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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