Johannesburg -- South African corn futures rose to the highest in more than three months on concern that a drought in some of the main growing regions will result in lower yields.
White corn for July delivery, the most active contract, climbed by the 80-rand ($9) limit, or 3.4 percent, to 2,335 rand a metric ton, the highest since December 3.
The yellow variety for delivery in the same month gained 3.6 percent to 2,278 rand a ton in Johannesburg.
Some growing areas in the western parts of the country haven’t been receiving sufficient rain.
Bothaville in the Free State province, which produces 40 percent of the nation’s corn, will have showers from today until March 16.
“The western parts of the country where they plant, which include some parts of the Free State, are experiencing a severe drought,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes, said by phone.
“Yields will be below average and time is running out, we are too late.”
Senwes expects the average yield in its operating areas in the Gauteng, Northern Cape and North West provinces to be 3.2 tons to 3.4 tons of corn per hectare compared with the average yield of 4.7 hectares, Grobbelaar said.
South Africa is the continent’s biggest producer of corn. White corn is a staple food, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.
Wheat for May delivery increased 0.5 percent to 3,407 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News