South Africa Yellow Corn Falls From Record as Rand Strengthens

  • Futures in Chicago have dropped 2.4% over past two days
  • Rand strength cuts cost of imports relative to local grains

South African yellow-corn futures fell from a record while the white variety also dropped after international prices declined and the rand strengthened, reducing the cost of imports relative to locally produced grain.

Yellow corn for delivery in July plummeted 2.6 percent to 3,769 rand ($241) a metric ton on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg, falling from a record 3,880 rand reached yesterday. The white variety dropped 2 percent to 4,906 rand a ton, retreating a second day. Futures in Chicago declined 2.4 percent in past two days, the biggest decrease over such a period since May 4, while the rand has strengthened 0.9 percent in the period against the dollar.

South African rainfall declined to the least since 1904 last year, damaging crops and raising prices. While the country on May 26 raised its local corn-output estimate 1.5 percent to 7.16 million metric tons this season from its April prediction, this would still be the smallest crop since 2008. White corn is used as a staple food known locally as pap, while the yellow type is mainly fed to animals.

“Corn in the U.S. came down quite a bit last night and the rand strengthened, so the parity was down a lot this morning which I think is the main reason for the down move,” Brink van Wyk a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone Wednesday.

The nation’s total corn deliveries dropped 27 percent to 889,760 tons by May 27, the fourth week of the season, from a year earlier, Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said in a statement on its website.

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