File image: Reuters

South African maize and wheat prices closed the Thursday session higher due to the weaker rand.

At 11.36am on Thursday‚ the rand was bid at R8.9138 to the US dollar from Wednesday’s close of R8.9020.

The rand has come under pressure due to US fiscal cliff worries and unrest in the local farming and mining industries.

“Today’s increase in grain prices is due to the weaker rand‚ with no big movements in Chicago prices overnight‚” a local trader said.

White maize for December delivery‚ the most active contract on the South African Futures Exchange‚ gained R27 to close at R2‚474 a ton.

Yellow maize for December delivery‚ the most active contract for yellow maize‚ added R33 to close at R2‚524 a ton. The grain is used mainly as animal feed in SA.

Wheat for December delivery closed R20 higher at R3‚710 a ton.

US wheat futures were mixed on Wednesday‚ with most contracts higher on concerns about poor winter-wheat crop conditions in the Great Plains‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

The US Department of Agriculture‚ in a report released on Tuesday afternoon‚ revealed dryness issues continued to stress hard red-winter crops from Oklahoma to Texas.

December wheat futures ended down 2 1/4 cents‚ or 0.3%‚ to $8.48 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

US corn futures traded higher on Wednesday‚ buoyed by a rebound in soybeans and underlying technical support. CBOT December corn edged up 2 1/4 cents‚ or 0.3%‚ to $7.25 3/4. - I-Net Bridge