Johannesburg - Wheat futures traded in South Africa touched a 13-month high after the rand weakened, making imports of the grain more expensive, and prices rose in the US market.

Wheat for delivery in March gained 1.3 percent to 3,781 rand ($347) a metric ton by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. That was the highest settlement for a most-active contract since December 3, 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

South Africa’s currency reached 10.9338 per dollar today, the worst intraday level since October 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The nation is sub-Saharan Africa’s largest producer of wheat after Ethiopia and the region’s biggest buyer of the grain after Nigeria and Sudan, US Department of Agriculture data showed.

“The rand’s decline had a lot to do with it, because South Africa’s a net importer,” Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Farmwise Grains Ltd., said by telephone from Johannesburg.

“It was also supported by trade in Chicago and Kansas.”

Wheat for delivery in March added 1 percent yesterday to $5.7925 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. - Bloomberg News