South African corn futures rose the most in more than three months tracking prices in the U.S., which increased after the Department of Agriculture’s estimates showed shrinking stockpiles. The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of the grain.
White corn for March delivery, the most active contract, surged 3.3 percent to 2,190 rand ($252) a metric ton, the most since Oct. 2, by the midday close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for July delivery, climbed 3.4 percent to 2,104.20 rand a ton.
Corn increased 2 percent to $7.23 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 12:35 p.m. in London. Inventories of corn on Dec. 1 were 8.03 billion bushels, 17 percent less than the 9.647 billion held a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report on Jan. 11.
“U.S. prices increased a lot today after the release of the USDA report last Friday,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Pretoria.
South Africa is the continent’s biggest corn producer, also known as maize. White corn is a staple food, while yellow corn is used as animal feed.
Wheat for delivery in March, rose 2 percent to 3,545 rand a ton.