South African Corn Futures Rise to Two-Week High as Rand Drops

South African corn and wheat futures gained to the highest level in more than two weeks as the rand depreciated against the dollar, making imports for the grain more expensive.

White corn for December delivery, the most active contract, rose 0.4 percent to 2,346 rand ($231) a metric ton, the highest since Aug. 2, by the midday close in Johannesburg. The yellow variety for delivery in the same month added 0.7 percent to 2,194.20 rand a ton. Wheat for delivery in December increased 0.9 percent to 3,345 rand a ton, also a two-week high.

South Africa’s rand slumped to a six-week low against the dollar on concern capital outflows from emerging markets will accelerate as the Federal Reserve reduces monetary stimulus. The currency slipped 0.6 percent to 10.15 by midday.

“Corn prices went up on the weakness of the rand,” Benjamin Swanepoel, a trader at Trademar Futures (Pty) Ltd., said in an e-mailed response to questions.

Meal made from white corn is a staple South African food, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed. The country is sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest producer of wheat after Ethiopia, and the region’s biggest importer after Nigeria, Sudan, according to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture data.

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