Corn Has Biggest Weekly Gain in Five Months: Johannesburg Mover

South African corn futures rose, extending the biggest weekly advance since November, after prices for the grain in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer, surged on speculation that cold weather will slow planting.

Yellow corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, gained 1.3 percent to 2,210.40 rand ($247) a metric ton, by the close in Johannesburg. The contract climbed 4.9 percent, the largest weekly advance since the five days through Nov. 23. White corn for delivery in the same month increased 1.3 percent to 2,226 rand a ton.

Corn rallied to a five-week high in Chicago yesterday. As much as 14 inches (36 centimeters) of snow fell in parts of Minnesota and fields from eastern Nebraska to Wisconsin received as much as 2 inches of rain, according to Dan Hicks, a meteorologist for Freese-Notis Weather Inc. Just 5 percent of the corn crop was planted as of April 28, below the five-year average of 31 percent, government data show.

“Price moved up on our market due to the upward movement in corn on the Chicago Board of Trade,” Benjamin Swanepoel, a trader at Trademar Futures (Pty) Ltd., said by phone in Johannesburg. U.S. plantings “are already at a very low level compared to the five-year average,” he said.

U.S. corn futures extended yesterday’s advance, with the contract for delivery in July climbing 0.1 percent to $6.6275 a bushel by 8:38 a.m. in Chicago.

South Africa is the biggest corn producer on the continent. The white variety is a staple food in the country while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for delivery in July gained 0.3 percent to 3,495 rand a ton.

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