SA wheat falls to 1-week low

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Johannesburg - Wheat in South Africa dropped to the lowest closing price in a week, tracking a decline in the cereal on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Wheat for delivery in May retreated 1.2 percent to 4,135 rand a metric ton, the lowest since March 19, by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange.

It was the biggest one-day loss since February 25.

In Chicago, wheat fell for a second day, retreating 0.4 percent to $7.055 a bushel, as forecast rainfall may stabilize crop conditions in the US, the biggest exporter.

While South Africa is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest grower of the grain after Ethiopia, the nation is still a net importer of wheat and usually follows the international benchmark price.

“Wheat ratings in Kansas dropped because there wasn’t adequate soil moisture,” Benjamin Swanepoel, an independent trader, said by phone from Johannesburg.

“Now with conditions improving there, that has brought their price down.”

Oklahoma and parts of Kansas and Texas are expected to receive as much as 0.5 inch of rain today, with more forecast in the next two weeks, according to World Ag Weather.

About 55 percent of Texas wheat was rated poor or very poor as of March 23 from 52 percent a week earlier, the US Department of Agriculture reported.

White corn gained 0.1 percent to 2,129.80 rand a ton in Johannesburg, while the yellow variety dropped 0.1 percent to 2,211 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News

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