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S. African Corn Rises On Concern Insufficient Rain

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- South African corn reached the highest in more than a week on continued concern about a lack of rain in the growing areas of North West and Free State provinces. The rand weakened, making imports more expensive.

Yellow corn for delivery in December, the most active contract, rose 1.3 percent to 2,524 rand ($289) a metric ton by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg, the highest since Nov. 5. The white variety increased 1.1 percent to 2,474 rand a ton.

“The absence of rain in the main growing areas like the western parts of North West and the Free State is a concern,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone. “The exchange rate also plays a very important role in pricing of grains.”

South Africa’s Free State province, which produces 40 percent of the nation’s corn, is partly cloudy and warm with isolated thundershowers, while North West is partly cloudy and warm with isolated showers and thundershowers today, the South African Weather Service said on its website.

The rand gained 0.1 percent to 8.9144 a dollar, rebounding from a 0.4 percent decline to a low of 8.9576 earlier in the day.

South Africa is the continent’s largest corn producer. Meal made from white corn is one of the country’s staple foods and the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for delivery in December also rose, by 0.5 percent to 3,710 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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