Maize falls on rainfall forecast

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Johannesburg - Corn in South Africa, the continent’s largest producer of the grain, fell as a forecast for rain in one of the country’s main growing regions is expected to be good for crops.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, dropped 1.7 percent to 2,197 rand a metric ton, the lowest level since February 3, by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange.

The yellow variety for delivery in the same month, lost 1.9 percent to 2,230 rand a ton.

The town of Welkom in the Free State province, the area that grows about 41 percent of the nation’s corn, has as much as a 60 percent chance of rain this week, according to the South African Weather Service’s website.

“There is going to be good rains in the right regions such as the Free State and Mpumalanga provinces,” Benjamin Swanepoel, an independent trader in Johannesburg, said by phone.

The crop for July is still growing so the market is watching the weather, he said.

White maize is used for a staple food known locally as pap, while the yellow variety is mostly fed to animals.

Wheat futures for delivery in March rose 0.8 percent to 3,864 rand a ton.

Soybeans for May were unchanged at 6,220 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News

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