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South African Corn at Lowest in a Week Before Plantings Report

South African corn futures declined today in anticipation of a Crop Estimates Committee report that may show the area for corn plantings has increased, an analyst said.

“Everyone is waiting for this afternoon’s announcement from the CEC, Theo Venter, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone. ‘‘They anticipate bigger maize plantings.’’

White corn for March delivery, the most active contract, dropped 1 percent to 2,180 rand ($241) a metric ton, the lowest since Jan. 17, by the midday close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for delivery in July, declined 0.8 percent to 2,099 rand a ton.

A median estimate of six traders surveyed by Bloomberg News on Jan. 18 showed that corn plantings may remain unchanged from the previous forecast of 2.74 million hectares (6.77 million acres). The committee releases its predictions at 3:30 p.m.

‘‘In the Free State some areas for wheat planting were not used, so they think that will now be available for maize plantings,’’ Venter said.

Meal made from white corn, which is also called maize, is one of South Africa’s staple foods, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for delivery in March rose 0.9 percent to 3,670 rand a ton.

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