South Africa White Corn Falls to Two-Year Low

White corn in South Africa, the continent’s largest producer of the grain, dropped to the lowest level in more than two years amid the start of harvesting.

“We see that farmers are starting to harvest their crop and as a result, prices will drop down,” Benjamin Swanepoel, an independent trader said today by telephone from Johannesburg.

White corn fell 0.4 percent to 1,965 rand ($190) a metric ton, the lowest since Aug. 8, 2011, by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange. Yellow corn declined 0.2 percent to 2,095 rand a ton.

South Africa’s corn marketing season runs from May 1 through April 30, Marda Scheepers, a statistician at the Pretoria-based Crops Estimates Committee, said by telephone. About 80 percent of harvesting takes place between May and August.

Cornmeal made out of the white variety is used to make a staple food known locally as pap, while the yellow type is mainly fed to animals.

Wheat declined 0.7 percent to 4,035 rand a ton, the biggest drop since April 22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tshepiso Mokhema in Johannesburg at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at Sharon Lindores, John Deane

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