Johannesburg - South African wheat futures fell to the lowest level in more than two weeks as the rand gained against the dollar, making imports of the cereal cheaper.

Wheat for delivery in December, the most active contract, dropped 0.6 percent to 3,366 rand ($336) a metric ton, the lowest since Aug. 21, by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.

The rand rose for a fourth day to the highest in more than three weeks after Chinese trade data beat forecasts, boosting growth prospects for the biggest buyer of South African raw materials.

The currency later erased the gain.

“If you calculate the import parity, you will see it shows that the exchange rate played the dominant role for today’s movement,” Thys Grobbelaar, an analyst at Klerksdorp, South Africa-based Senwes Ltd., said by phone.

JSE Ltd., which manages South Africa’s commodities exchange, raised the wheat transport reference price by 33 percent to 560 rand a ton, an e-mailed statement showed September 6.

The new rate takes effect October 1.

South Africa is a net importer of wheat and sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of the grain after Ethiopia, as well as the region’s biggest importer after Nigeria and Sudan, according to US Department of Agriculture data.

White corn for delivery in December was unchanged at 2,388 rand a ton, while the yellow variety for the same delivery month fell 0.5 percent to 2,158 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News