File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - South African corn futures declined for the first time in four days as the rand strengthened against the dollar, making the price of locally produced grain more attractive.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, fell 0.5 percent to 2,359.80 rand ($254) a metric ton, the most since March 14, on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.

The yellow variety for delivery in the same month, dropped 0.4 percent to 2,301 rand a ton.

The rand was trading at 9.2509 per dollar at 9:20 a.m. and it strengthened 0.4 percent to 9.2159 at the close of the futures exchange, shortly before the central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged.

“The rand was weaker during trade, but it strengthened again after the market closed, causing a slight drop in prices,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone.

South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of corn. White corn is a staple food, while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

Wheat for May delivery gained 1.2 percent to 3,468 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News