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South African White Corn Gains for Second Day on Harvest Concern

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- South African white-corn futures rose for a second day amid lingering concern that production of the grain is poised to decline.

White corn for delivery in December, the most active contract, added 0.2 percent to 2,341 rand ($231) a metric ton by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. Yellow corn for the same delivery month fell for a fourth session, the longest streak of declines since July, to 2,172 rand, the lowest level since Aug. 15.

Farmers in South Africa, the continent’s largest corn producer, will probably grow 5.58 million tons of the white variety this year, down 19 percent from 2012, the Pretoria-based Crop Estimates Committee said Aug. 27. The white-corn harvest in Free State province, the nation’s biggest grower, will fall 16 percent, it said.

“The market is still worried where they will get white maize,” Thys Grobbelaar an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone, using another name for corn. “It might get more difficult with production being cut.”

A meal made from white corn is one of South Africa’s staple foods, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed. Farmers produced 12.8 million tons of corn overall in 2010, the biggest crop since 1982.

Wheat for delivery in December declined 0.4 percent to 3,385 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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