Johannesburg - South African corn futures fell to the lowest in more than eight months as the rand gained against the dollar on February 1, reducing the cost of imports.

White corn for delivery in March, the most active contract, dropped 2.4 percent to 2,052.20 rand ($230) a metric ton, the lowest since May 7, on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.

The yellow variety for July delivery, surged 2.1 percent to 1,994 rand a ton.

The rand had strengthened 1.3 percent to 8.8398 per dollar by the close on February 1, its biggest daily gain since October 9.

The currency was little changed in early futures trading though it weakened 0.9 percent to 8.9199 by the 12pm close.

“The rand had strengthened drastically on Friday, bringing down the import parity price,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Pretoria.

The nation is the continent’s largest producer of corn. White corn is a staple food and the yellow variety is used as animal feed.

Wheat for delivery in March decreased 1.6 percent to 3,598 rand a ton. - Bloomberg