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South African Wheat Declines as Rand Gains Against Dollar

South African wheat fell to the lowest in two weeks as the rand strengthened against the dollar, making imports cheaper.

Wheat for delivery in March, the most active contract, closed 0.6 percent lower at 3,749 rand ($427) a metric ton on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg, the lowest since Nov. 21.

The rand advanced 0.3 percent to 8.7709 a dollar by 1:35 p.m. after speculation that the central bank will leave interest rates unchanged.

“The rand strengthened and that is why the wheat prices are down today,” Kallie van Heerden, a trader at brokerage Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg. “These are good levels to price the wheat at and also good prices to sell, so everyone is happy.”

South Africa is a net importer of the grain and sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer after Ethiopia. The nation is the region’s biggest importer after Nigeria and Sudan, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

White corn for delivery in the same month fell 0.3 percent to 2,454 rand a ton, while the yellow variety for delivery in July, rose 0.4 percent to 2,350 rand a ton.

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