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South African Corn Increases for a Third Day as U.S. Prices Gain

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April 29 (Bloomberg) -- South African corn futures rose for a third day after U.S. prices climbed on speculation a government report will show planting slowed in the country, which is the biggest producer of the grain.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, gained 1.3 percent to 2,155 rand ($238) a metric ton by the close on the South African Futures Exchange. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month advanced 1.6 percent to 2,140.80 rand a ton.

Four percent of corn crops in the major U.S. producing states were planted as of April 21, behind the five-year average pace of 16 percent, the Department of Agriculture said April 22. Corn for July delivery increased as much as 2.1 percent on the Chicago Board of Trade today.

“The U.S. corn price was driven up because they are battling to plant quickly enough,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone in Pretoria. “Our corn was given a push by that because we follow the U.S.’s price.”

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

Wheat for delivery in July dropped 0.3 percent to 3,379 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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