South Africa Yellow Corn Falls to 3-Week Low on Output-Gain Bets

South Africa yellow-corn futures declined to the lowest level in three weeks on speculation output will increase this season.

Yellow corn for delivery in December, the most active contract, dropped for a third day, losing 0.4 percent to 2,176 rand ($211) a metric ton, the lowest since Aug. 15, by the close on the South African Futures Exchange. The white variety for delivery in the same month gained 0.2 percent to 2,337 rand a ton.

The country’s Crop Estimates Committee on Aug. 27 raised its forecast for yellow-corn output in the marketing year through April by 5.1 percent to 5.93 million tons. This will be the first time since 1995 that South Africa, the continent’s biggest producer of corn, harvests more of the yellow variety, according the committee’s data.

“The yellow crop is getting bigger and bigger with every crop estimate so that is starting to play a role,” Brink van Wyk, a trader for BVG (Pty) Ltd., said in an e-mailed response to questions today.

Output of yellow corn will probably climb in all except one of South Africa’s nine provinces, the committee said. This includes a 23 percent increase in the Free State from a year earlier and a 27 percent gain in Mpumalanga, the largest producers, it said.

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. The nation produced 12.8 million tons in 2010, the biggest crop since 1982.

Wheat for delivery in December, was little changed at 3,395 rand a ton.

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