South African Corn Gains to Three-Month High on Weak Rand

South African corn futures rose to the highest level in more than three months as the rand weakened to a 4 1/2-year low against the dollar, making imports more expensive and attracting buyers to locally produced grain.

White corn for July delivery increased 1.9 percent to 2,386 rand ($259) a metric ton, the highest since Nov. 29, by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. The yellow variety, also for delivery in July, rose 2 percent to 2,308 rand a ton.

The rand slumped after the Reserve Bank yesterday said the deficit on the current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, reached 6.5 percent of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter.

“The rand’s weakening has made prices go up,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg.

South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of corn. White corn is a staple food, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for May delivery is little changed with a 0.1 percent increase to 3,412 rand a ton.

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