Johannesburg - South Africa, the continent’s largest producer of corn, exported the white variety of the grain to Italy for the first time this season.

The country shipped 81,316 metric tons of white corn in the week to February 8, including 33,176 tons to Italy, the Pretoria- based South African Grain Information Service said in a statement on its website.

Exports of both yellow and white corn since the start of the season in May total 1.28 million tons.

South African prices for the white variety have declined 20 percent since the start of last year, while yellow corn has dropped 26 percent.

Corn fell 8.1 percent on the Chicago Board of Trade over the period.

“We are very cheap, so this means it will get easier and easier to export to other countries,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at BVG, said by phone from Pretoria.

“It is definitely not the last time that we will see exports to newer countries, few more are going to buy from us.”

South Africa exported 33,870 tons of white corn to Mexico in the week and 5,080 tons to Botswana.

Exports of the yellow variety amounted to 2,357 tons to neighboring countries.

Yellow corn is mainly used as animal feed in South Africa, while the white variety is a staple food. - Bloomberg