S. African Wheat Rose Most in 1-Week as Market Tracks U.S

South African wheat futures rose the most in more than a week, tracking U.S. prices which climbed because of cold weather that may delay spring planting.

Wheat for delivery in May, the most active contract, increased 0.9 percent to 3,409.80 rand ($368) a metric ton, the most since March 22, on the South African Futures Exchange.

The May contract for wheat strengthened as much as 1.3 percent to $7.055 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade before easing 0.3 percent to $6.9450 at 12:30 p.m. in London.

“Wheat in America traded higher,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Johannesburg.

Soil temperatures in parts of the U.S. Plains fell to as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit, well below the 37 degrees needed to start planting, Bryce Anderson, an agricultural meteorologist at DTN, said in an interview from Omaha, Nebraska today.

South Africa is a net importer of wheat and sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia. The nation is the region’s biggest importer after Nigeria and Sudan, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

White corn for delivery in July declined 2.7 percent to 2,136.40 rand a ton, while the yellow variety for delivery in the same month dropped 2 percent to 2,102 rand a ton by the midday close in Johannesburg.

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