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South African Wheat Futures Retreat to Lowest in Three Weeks

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- South African wheat declined to the lowest level in three weeks on speculation local prices are higher than those paid internationally.

The generic futures contract for wheat retreated 0.7 percent to 3,629 rand ($410) a metric ton, the lowest since Oct. 30, by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.

Wheat on the Chicago Board of Trade was little changed at $8.57 a bushel, or the equivalent of $315 a ton, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Local wheat is expensive compared to international wheat,” Paul du Plessis, a trader at Brisen Commodities (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Pretoria. “Prices are lower because they must be competitive with international prices.”

South Africa is a net importer of wheat and sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia.

Yellow corn for delivery in December decreased 0.3 percent to 2,491 rand a ton, while the white variety fell less than 0.1 percent to 2,441 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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