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S. African Corn Drops Most in Two Months on Output Increase Bets

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Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- South African corn futures fell the most in more than two months on speculation the country’s Crop Estimates Committee will say output of the grain will rise 5.9 percent this season from last year.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, dropped 3.5 percent, the most since Dec. 2, to 1,997 rand ($226) a metric ton by the close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month declined 3.1 percent to 1,994.80 rand a ton.

A median estimate of six traders surveyed by Bloomberg on Feb. 20 showed that farmers may harvest 12.5 million tons of corn this season. The range was from 11.95 million tons to 12.8 million tons. It compares with 11.8 million tons produced in the 2011-12 season. The Crop Estimates Committee will release the data tomorrow.

“The crop estimates report is coming out tomorrow and the market is positive it will be higher for maize,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Pretoria. “The surplus will be high.”

South Africa, the largest producer of corn, also known as maize, on the continent, produced 12.8 million tons in 2010, the biggest crop since 1982. Meal made from white corn is one of the country’s staple food and the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for March delivery fell 0.9 percent to 3,380 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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