South African White Corn Rebounds on Concern Rains Aren't Enough

  • Price climbs from lowest in two months; yellow type steady
  • Main growing regions have not had enough rain: BVG trader

South African white corn rebounded from a two-month low on concern that not enough rain has fallen in key crop-growing areas.

The grain for delivery in July rose 1.4 percent to 4,839 rand ($314) a metric ton by midday on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. Prices fell the previous three days to touch the lowest since mid-January. Yellow corn was little changed.

Towns in the Free State province received 18 millimeters (0.7 inch) of showers overnight, while Lichtenburg in the North West had only 6 millimeters, data on the South African Weather Service website showed. The two provinces accounted for more than half of the country’s corn output last year. Kroonstad in the Free State will probably get 4.8 millimeters today and Potchefstroom in the North West 9 millimeters, the weather website shows.

“The rain keeps on missing the big white production areas of the Free State and North West,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by e-mail Monday. “They seldom receive more than a few millimeters of rain when they actually need 50 millimeters plus."

The El Nino weather pattern last year led to the worst drought in more than a century, decimating South African crops and more than doubling prices of white corn. The type, used as a staple food that’s known locally as pap, touched a record in January.

“Decent rains keep on missing areas like Bultfontein, Wesselsbron, Hoopstad, Schweizer Reneke, Bothaville and Viljoenskroon,” Van Wyk said. “The drought is intensifying in those areas and the crop is deteriorating, seriously.”

Yellow corn for July delivery lost 0.1 percent to 3,189 rand a ton. The variety is mainly fed to animals.

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