South African Soybeans Reach Four-Week Low as Rand Strengthens

Soybean futures traded in South Africa reached a four-week low as a strengthening rand made imports of the oilseed cheaper.

Soybeans for delivery in December, the most active contract, fell for a fourth day to 5,515 rand ($573) a metric ton by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. That was the contract’s lowest price since Aug. 21, and the streak of declines is the longest since June 19.

The rand gained for a fifth session to the highest level since May against the dollar before erasing the advance. It’s still down 12 percent against the greenback this year, the second-worst performance in a basket of emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Only Argentina’s peso slumped further, the data show.

“The rand was stronger earlier today,” Kobus Theron, a trader at Suidwes Landbou (Pty) Ltd. in North West province, said by phone. “The exchange rate was the main reason for the drop.”

Corn futures also declined in Johannesburg trading. South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of the grain. A meal made from white corn is one of the nation’s staple foods and the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Yellow corn for delivery in December dropped 0.6 percent to 2,118 rand a ton, the contract’s lowest settlement price since Feb. 26. The white variety for the same delivery month fell 0.2 percent to 2,293.20 rand a ton, the lowest since July 9.

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