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South African Wheat Declines Most in a Week on U.S. Price Drop

March 18 (Bloomberg) -- South African wheat futures fell the most in more than a week as the U.S. price for the grain dropped on speculation crops may expand in Russia and the European Union.

Wheat for delivery in May, the most active contract, dropped 0.4 percent to 3,438 rand ($374) a metric ton, the most since March 7, on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. The grain for delivery in the same month decreased for a second day on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Russia, once the third-largest wheat exporter, may reap 40 million to 50 million tons this year, up from 37.7 million tons a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry said March 15. Global wheat supplies may rise 4.3 percent from the previous season to 690 million tons as crops in Russia and the former Soviet Union recover from dry weather and farmers expand planting in Europe, the United Nations said March 7.

“The U.S. and Kansas prices went down,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Pretoria.

South Africa is a net importer of wheat and sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia.

White corn for July delivery gained 0.8 percent to 2,346 rand a ton, while the yellow variety rose 1 percent to 2,296 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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