South African Yellow Corn Rises to Five-Month High as Rand Drops

South African yellow-corn futures rose to the highest level in more than five months as the rand weakened to a four-year low against the dollar, making imports more expensive relative to locally produced grain.

Yellow corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, jumped 3.5 percent, or the 80-rand ($8) limit, to 2,350 rand a metric ton, the highest since Dec. 3. The contract has climbed 8.4 percent this week, the biggest five-day increase since the period through Oct. 5. The white variety gained 3.5 percent to 2,369 rand a ton by the midday close in Johannesburg.

The currency of Africa’s biggest economy fell to a four-year low and is headed for its worst month since 2011.

“The rand has weakened substantially and has caused our prices to move up at limits today,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Johannesburg-based Farmwise Grains (Pty) Ltd., said by phone.

South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of corn. Meal from the white variety is a staple food while yellow is mainly used as animal feed. The country exported 47,075 tons of white corn, including 36,700 tons to Mexico, in the week ended May 24, Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said on May 28.

Wheat for delivery in July rose 2.8 percent to close at 3,710 rand a ton. It rose for a ninth day, the longest streak of gains since December 2010, when it climbed for 10 days.

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