South Africa White Corn Gains as Imports Still Needed on Drought

  • No rain is predicted for main corn-growing province tomorrow
  • Corn-production estimates could still change, BVG says

South African white corn increased by its extended daily limit in Johannesburg on concern the nation still requires imports to meet local demand despite recent rains easing the effects of the worst drought in memory, BVG (Pty) Ltd. said.

White corn for delivery in July rose 2.5 percent to 5,016 rand ($312) a metric ton by midday on the South African Futures Exchange, gaining most since Jan. 15. It’s climbed 7.6 percent in January, a third straight month of increases. Yellow corn for the same delivery month advanced 0.5 percent to 3,526 rand a ton.

While local growers will probably produce 7.44 million tons of both varieties of the grain in the season ending in April, according to the Crop Estimates Committee, the nation may still need to import about 3 million tons of the grain for local supply, Grain SA said Thursday. In 2015, the country suffered the lowest rainfall since records began because of the global El Nino weather pattern.

“South Africa still needs to import a lot of maize and this estimate can still change a lot due to weather and also as more accurate information comes,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG, said by e-mail, using the local term for corn. “Buyers are aware of this.”

Towns in the Free State province, which produced about 40 percent of last year’s harvest, will probably not receive rain on Saturday, but precipitation is forecast for Sunday, data on the yr. no weather website showed.

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