File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - Yellow-corn futures in South Africa rose to a record after investors were obliged to purchased contracts to cover trading positions, Brisen Commodities Pty Ltd. said.

Yellow corn for delivery in March, the most active contract, gained 2.6 percent to 2,909 rand ($267) a metric ton by the noon close, the highest since trading started on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg in 1996.

The biggest gains were made toward the end of the trading session, according to Paul du Plessis, a trader at Brisen Commodities Pty Ltd. in Pretoria.

“Some traders had short positions they had to cover,” he said by phone.

Those who engage in a short sale intend to profit by repurchasing assets later at a lower price and returning them to the holder.

South Africa is the continent’s largest producer of corn.

Cornmeal made from the white variety is a staple food in the nation, while the yellow type is mainly fed to animals.

White corn for March delivery climbed 2.7 percent to 2,978.20 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News