South African Corn Advances as Deliveries Fall to a Season Low

Corn futures in South Africa gained after a government report showed that deliveries for the grain are at the lowest level this season.

White corn for delivery in December, the most active contract, rose 1.3 percent to 2,324.80 rand ($234) a metric ton by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange. The yellow variety, for September delivery, climbed 1.2 percent to 2,126 rand a ton.

South Africa delivered 118,406 tons of both varieties in the week through Aug. 9, the smallest amount since the season started on April 27, according to the country’s grain information service. Drought in corn-growing provinces has cut output of both crops, with the harvest estimated to be smaller in the year through April than in 2010, which was the largest harvest since 1982, acccording to the Crop Estimates Committee.

“Prices are on the rise today on concern coming from the tapering off of deliveries,” Andrew Fletcher, an independent trader in Kroonstad in the Free State province, said by phone.

Farmers are expected to produce 11.4 million tons of corn this season, the committee said in its sixth prediction for the year. That compares with 11.8 million tons in the 2012 season. The next forecast is scheduled for Aug. 27.

South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of corn with the white grain being the main staple food, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for delivery in December fell 0.7 percent 3,307 rand a ton.

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