South African Corn Declines as U.S. Prices Drop on Good Weather

Corn futures in South Africa fell following a drop in the U.S. price yesterday on speculation that wet weather is increasing the chances for bumper crops in the North American country, the world’s biggest producer.

White corn for delivery in December, the most active contract, fell 0.6 percent to 2,350 rand ($230) a metric ton, the most since Aug. 14, by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange. The yellow variety for delivery in the same period, dropped 0.7 percent to 2,212 rand a ton.

As much as 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain will fall in parts of Iowa and Illinois, the largest U.S. producers of corn and soybeans, National Weather Service data show. U.S. farmers probably will harvest a record 13.8 billion bushels of corn this year, according to government forecasts.

“Corn in the U.S. was down a little as the Pro Farmer crop tour indicated very good corn yields for the top producing states of Iowa and Illinois,” Brink Van Wyk, a trader at Trademar Futures (Pty) Ltd., said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Some rain fell in their corn area.”

Corn futures for December delivery fell 3.9 percent to settle at $4.6450 a bushel by yesterday’s close on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest decline since June 28.

South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of the grain. Meal made from white corn is used as one of the nation’s staple foods, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for December delivery, lost 0.3 percent to 3,366 rand a ton, the most since Aug. 15.

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