South African grain prices closed the Friday session higher on a weaker rand‚ despite forecasts of rain‚ which should drive prices down.

The rand was at R8.77 at noon on Thursday but weakened to around R8.85 when the grains market closed on Friday.

“Our maize is attractive at the moment to the export market because our prices are lower than the US and Eastern Europe. South East Asia‚ Mexico and Japan should start importing from SA now‚” said Piet Faure‚ trader at CJS Securities.

Local wheat prices also closed higher due to the weaker rand. SA is a net importer of wheat and only exports to other African countries.

The white maize contract for March 2013 delivery added R18 to R2‚181 per ton‚ the white maize contract for July 2013 gained R16 to R2‚045 per ton and the white maize September 2013 contract lifted R14 to R2‚072.

The yellow maize contract for March 2013 delivery gained R25 to R2‚315 per ton‚ the July 2013 yellow maize contract added R19.20 to R2‚097.20 and the yellow maize September 2013 contract picked up R13 to R2‚125.

The wheat contract for March 2013 closed R25 firmer at R3‚623.

Meanwhile US grain futures fell on Thursday‚ pressured by profit-taking after recent gains. Chicago Board of Trade March corn futures settled down 6 3/4 cents‚ or 0.9%‚ at $7.24 1/2 a bushel. CBOT March wheat fell 3 3/4 cents‚ or 0.5%‚ to $7.81 1/4 a bushel. - I-Net Bridge