South African Wheat Gains as U.S Price Rises on Weather

South African wheat futures rose for a third day as global prices climbed on concern that cold weather in Russia and a persistent drought in the U.S. will curb global supplies.

Wheat for March delivery, the most active contract, increased 0.4 percent to 3,644.20 rand ($412) a metric ton by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.

Wheat climbed to a one-month high on the Chicago Board of trade as winter-kill caused by freezing temperatures affected 9 percent of the 15.7 million hectares (38.8 million acres) sown with winter grains in Russia, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday. Drought may persist in the U.S. Great Plains and spread across Texas in the next three months, according to the Climate Prediction Center.

“We are following the international prices as they are up today on concern of dry weather,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Pretoria.

South Africa is a net importer of wheat and sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer after Ethiopia. The country imported 30,972 tons of the grain in the week to Jan. 18, Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said in a statement on its website today.

White corn gained 1.1 percent to 2,227 rand a ton, while the yellow variety increased 1.1 percent 2,146 rand a ton.