South African Corn Falls Most in Week as Rains Expected

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- South African corn futures declined the most in more than a week on speculation there will be better rain in the main growing regions of the country.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract fell 2.4 percent, the most since Feb. 25, to 2,217 rand ($245) a metric ton by the close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month dropped 2.2 percent to 2,176 rand a ton.

Bothaville in the Free State province, where 40 percent of the nation’s corn is grown, will receive rain from today until March 12, according to the South African Weather Service website. The same weather patterns are predicted for Lichtenburg in the North West province.

“The strong downward pressure that we see today is mainly as a result of better rain predictions in the country,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg.

Concern about a lack of rain over the past two weeks has resulted in prices climbing to the highest since Dec. 6 yesterday. The 14-day relative strength index for white corn rose to 71 on March 4 yesterday. A reading above 70 is a signal to technical analysts that the price is poised to drop.

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

Wheat for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to 3,345 rand a ton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tshepiso Mokhema in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at