South African Corn Snaps Four-Day Drop as Global Stocks Decline

South African white corn rose for the first time in five days after a U.S. government report predicted world inventories will drop more than expected after the worst drought in more than 50 years cuts output.

White corn for December delivery, the most active contract, added 1.9 percent to 2,520 rand ($294) a metric ton by the close in Johannesburg. Yellow corn for delivery in the same month climbed for a second day, rising 1.6 percent to 2,538 rand.

Worldwide inventories on Oct. 1 will be 117.27 million metric tons, down from 123.95 million predicted a month ago and 131.54 million estimated this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Reserves as a percent of consumption will fall to the lowest since 1974, USDA data show. Stockpiles in the U.S., the largest grower and exporter, will fall 37 percent from last year to 15.7 million tons.

“Yields and stocks will be low, that is why our corn prices are up today,” Theo Venter, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone.

South African wheat increased 0.1 percent to 3,565 rand a ton after a three-day drop.