South African Corn Gains on Brazil Dry Weather Concern

South African corn futures rose to the highest level almost in almost four weeks as as continuing dry weather in Brazil affects crops amid declining world supplies.

White corn for delivery in March, the most active contract, climbed 2.2 percent to 2,211 rand ($250) a metric ton, the highest since Dec. 20, by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for delivery in July, gained 1.9 percent to 2,126 rand a ton.

Mostly dry weather during the next seven to 10 days and warmer temperatures will deplete soil moisture and increase stress on developing crops in Rio Grande do Sul, forecaster DTN said in a report yesterday. Inventories of corn on Dec. 1 were 8.03 billion bushels, 17 percent less than the 9.647 billion held a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report on Jan. 11.

“Our corn prices are down due to the fact that there have been concerns over Argentina and the south of Brazil being dry,” Theo Venter, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone. “There hasn’t been much rain falling over their harvest, so it’s making international prices go up.”

Corn for March delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $7.335 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade at 1:47 p.m. in London.

In South Africa, the biggest producer of the grain in the continent, white corn is a staple food, while the yellow type is used as animal feed.

Wheat for March delivery rose 2.4 percent to 3,650 rand a metric ton.

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