Johannesburg - South African corn futures rose for a fifth day because of a lack of rain in the country’s main growing regions.

White corn for delivery in July, the most active contract, gained 3.7 percent to 2,038 rand ($231) a metric ton by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg, the longest rising streak since July 9.

The yellow variety for delivery in the same month increased 3 percent to 2,052 rand a ton.

No rain is expected today, tomorrow and February 20 in Lichtenburg in the North West province, the second-largest producer of corn in South Africa, according to the nation’s Weather Service website.

Bothaville in the Free State, which produces 40 percent of the grain, will only receive rain today and tomorrow, with nothing predicted for the rest of the week.

“The drastic increase in corn prices was caused by the lack of rain during the weekend,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes, said by phone.

“A great part of our local grain is in a desperate condition and needs rain.”

White corn is a staple food in South Africa while the yellow variety is mainly used as animal feed.

The nation is the continent’s largest producer of corn, also known as maize.

Wheat increased 0.6 percent to 3,450 rand a ton. The nation is a net importer of the grain. - Bloomberg News