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S. African Corn Falls Most in Three Weeks as Rains Boost Crops

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- South African corn futures declined the most in three weeks as rains are expected to fall in some of the country’s main growing regions, leading to a better crop.

Yellow corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, slipped 2.2 percent, the most since Dec. 27, to 2,081 rand ($237) a metric ton by the close in Johannesburg. The white variety for March dropped 1.7 percent to 2,165 rand a ton.

Bothaville in the Free State province, which produces 40 percent of the nation’s corn, has experienced good rains this season and further showers are forecast for the next three days, the South African Weather Service said on its website. The nation harvested 14 percent more in the 2011-12 season from a year earlier, according to the Crop Estimates Committee.

“The weather sites have predicted good rains for the weekend and this will lead to a bigger crop,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone.

South Africa is the continent’s biggest producer of the grain. White corn is a staple food, while the yellow type is used as animal feed.

Wheat for March delivery fell 1.3 percent to 3,601 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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