White maize falls to lowest since 2011

Johannesburg - South African white corn futures dropped to the lowest level in more than two years as farmers face harvesting pressure and supply exceeds demand, an analyst said.

“Local farmers are now forced to price their maize due to harvesting pressure and that works out negative for them as supply is now more than demand,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp-based Senwes, said by phone today.

File image. Credit: REUTERS

“They have had harvesting pressure from the end of April.”

White maize, also called corn, fell 0.7 percent to 1,952 rand a metric ton, the lowest since August 8, 2011 by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange.

The yellow type fell 0.7 percent to 2,086 rand a ton.

South Africa’s corn marketing year runs from May 1 through April 30, Marda Scheepers, a statistician at the Pretoria-based Crops Estimates Committee, said on May 9.

About 80 percent of harvesting takes place between May and August.

The nation is Africa’s biggest producer of maize.

Cornmeal made out of the white variety is used to make a staple food known locally as pap, while the yellow type is mainly fed to animals.

Wheat dropped 1 percent to 3,978 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News