South African White Corn Has First Quarterly Drop Since 2014

  • Deliveries by producers rose 83% last week from previous week
  • Deliveries have dropped 36% so far this season due to drought

South African white corn fell for a third day, extending its first quarterly decline since 2014, as farmers’ deliveries of the grain increased after the pace of harvesting in growing areas improved.

While corn for July delivery dropped 1.3 percent to 4,622.40 rand ($313) a metric ton on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg, taking the quarterly drop to 2.7 percent, the first such decline since the three months through September 2014. Yellow corn for delivery in December retreated 1.8 percent to 3,582 rand a ton, the lowest since May 17.

Deliveries of white and yellow corn increased 83 percent to 502,771 tons in the week ended June 24 from seven days earlier, Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said in statement Wednesday. Deliveries of the white variety more than doubled to 186,598 tons, while those of the yellow type jumped 68 percent to 316,113 tons.

“This signifies an increase in harvesting pace,” Wandile Sihlobo and Tinashe Kapuya, economists at Agricultural Business Chamber, said in an e-mailed report Thursday.

While deliveries are up on the week, they have declined 36 percent so far this season, now in its ninth week, from a year earlier, reaching 2.78 million tons. South Africa, the continent’s biggest corn grower and usually a net exporter of agricultural products, may need to import 3.8 million tons of corn this year, according to Grain SA, the biggest lobby for grain and oilseed farmers. That’s after rainfall last year declined to the least since records started in 1904, damaging crops and raising prices.

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