South Africa Corn Rises Most in Two Months as U.S. Price Surges

South African corn futures rose the most in more than two months after U.S. prices gained as a government report showed cold and wet weather slowed planting.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, jumped 3.7 percent, or the limit of 80 rand ($9), to 2,231 rand a metric ton by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. That was the biggest increase since Feb. 27. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month also rose by the limit, advancing 3.8 percent to 2,212 rand a ton.

Corn surged 6.5 percent in Chicago yesterday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said farmers planted 5 percent of corn as of April 28, trailing the five-year average pace of 31 percent and the slowest start to the season since 1984. Rain will redevelop from about midweek in the Midwest, with heavy downpours possible in Illinois, forecaster DTN said in a report.

“There is much concern in the U.S. that they can’t plant their corn in time due to the wet weather and they closed at a limit of 40 cents last night,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg.

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 delivery in July gained 1.3 percent to 3,430 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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