South African White Corn Drops by Daily Limit as Rains Forecast

  • Yellow corn reached highest since August 1996 this week
  • Rains expected in critical plating area of country, BVG says

South African white-corn futures dropped by the daily trading limit as rain is forecast in one of the nation’s biggest producing province. Yellow corn also fell.

White corn for delivery in December dropped by the 80-rand ($5.7) limit, or 2.4 percent, to 3,239 rand a metric ton by midday on the South African Futures Exchange. That pared the increase this week to 4.4 percent, which is the most since July. Yellow corn for delivery in the same month, which touched the highest since at least 1996 on Thursday, declined 1 percent to 2,990 rand a ton.

"More rain is predicted in Mpumalanga for next week, where it is critical as they plant earliest in South Africa," Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by e-mail.

The town of Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga province, which vies with the Free State and North West as the biggest growing regions for corn, may get 33.7 millimeters (1.3 inches) of rain on Nov. 14, according to data on the yr.no weather website, a joint service by Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. The town of Bethal in the same region will probably receive 10.1 millimeters of showers on Nov. 13.

Farmers in Africa’s biggest corn producer will reduce 2016 season plantings of the grain to the smallest since 2011 because of poor rains in the main growing regions, according to the Crop Estimates Committee. A drought in the previous season cut producers’ harvest to the smallest since 2007. A strengthening El Nino pattern bringing dry conditions to sub-Saharan Africa has prompted the national weather service to predict below-normal rainfall for the next four months.

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