File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - South African white corn rose for the first time in four days, gaining the most in more than a month, on speculation that this season’s harvest is progressing more slowly than anticipated.

The price of white corn for delivery in July increased 1 percent to 1,907.20 rand a metric ton by the close of trade on the South African Future Exchange in Johannesburg.

This is the biggest advance for a most-active contract since April 17.

Corn prices in the US climbed after declining for four straight sessions.

The price increase is because of the “slow intake of the new harvest coming in, as well as Chicago prices,” Benjamin Swanepoel, an independent trader in Johannesburg, said by phone.

“Quicker intakes are more beneficial as we have been struggling with shortages, hence the higher prices.”

South Africa’s harvest of both white and yellow corn may be the biggest in 33 years, the Crop Estimates Committee said on March 27.

Farmers increased plantings after stocks of both varieties declined.

The country is the continent’s biggest producer of the grain.

Meal made from the white type is used as a staple food called pap, while the yellow grain is used as animal feed.

Yellow corn for July delivery rose for the first time in seven days, adding 0.3 percent to 2,016.40 rand a ton, while wheat for delivery in the same month increased 0.4 percent to 3,946 rand a ton in Johannesburg. - Bloomberg News