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South African Wheat Declines to Two-Month Low as Rand Gains

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Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- South African wheat futures fell to the lowest in more than two months after the rand strengthened, cutting the cost of imports.

Wheat for delivery in March, the most active contract, dropped 0.9 percent to 3,585 rand ($419) a metric ton, the lowest since Oct. 3, by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. Yellow corn for July delivery, retreated for an eighth day, the longest streak of declines since at least January, losing 0.1 percent to 2,178 rand a ton.

The rand appreciated 1.4 percent to 8.5420 per dollar yesterday, the strongest since Oct. 4, and traded little changed at 8.5501 by 3:27 p.m. in Johannesburg today.

“Prices are down today following what happened with the rand yesterday and on Friday,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Pretoria.

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

White corn for March delivery rose 0.7 percent to 2,320 rand a metric 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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