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South African Corn Rises Most This Month as U.S. Price Climbs

May 10 (Bloomberg) -- South African corn futures gained the most this month after prices rose in the U.S. on concern wet weather will slow plantings and increase the risk of lower yields in world’s biggest producer of the grain.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, rose 2.1 percent, the most since April 30, to 2,146 rand ($237) a metric ton on the South African Futures Exchange. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month climbed 1.9 percent to 2,129 rand a ton.

Corn futures for July delivery jumped 2.5 percent to close at $6.4875 a bushel yesterday on the Chicago Board of Trade. Some fields from Kansas to Minnesota received as much as 2 inches (5.1 centimeters) of rain yesterday, increasing muddy conditions and slowing planting, Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report. Corn-planting progress as of May 5 was the slowest since 1984, government data show.

“The market in Chicago closed higher last night,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Johannesburg-based Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone. “There are concerns of late planting after the wet weather they experienced.”

South Africa is the continent’s biggest producer of corn. The white grain is a staple food in the country while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for delivery in July increased 1.1 percent to 3,490 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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