File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - White-corn futures rose to a record for a sixth straight session in South Africa, which is on course to run short of the grain after low rainfall.

White corn for delivery in March reached 3,109 rand ($283) a metric ton on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg, the highest since trading started in 1996.

The grain added 0.4 percent to 3,070 rand at 11:16 a.m. local time.

Yellow corn for delivery in July rose 1.3 percent to 2,364.80 rand a ton.

South Africa will have a corn shortfall of about 500,000 tons when the new harvest begins in April, according to Grain SA, which represents commercial farmers.

Supplies of white and yellow corn were hampered by low rainfall in the 2012 and 2013 planting seasons, particularly in the North West province.

A meal made from white corn is a staple food in South Africa, while the yellow variety is mostly fed to animals.

The nation is the continent’s biggest corn producer.

Prices also climbed as the rand touched the lowest level since October 2008.

The South African currency fell as much as 1 percent to 10.9788 per dollar.

A weaker rand makes imports more expensive, boosting demand for local farm products.

Wheat for delivery in March added 0.8 rand to 3,805 rand a ton.

Soybeans for the same delivery month climbed 1.1 percent to 6,180 rand after four sessions of declines. - Bloomberg News