File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - South African white corn for delivery in March climbed the most in almost a month amid tight stockpiles due to last year’s drought.

The March contract, which had the most volume and open interest, jumped by the 80 rand ($7.12) daily limit, or 2.6 percent, to 3,193 rand a metric ton by the midday close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg.

That was the biggest one-day gain for the contract since January 2.

The yellow variety for July delivery gained 0.3 percent to 2,280 rand a ton.

“Last year’s drought is still one of the reasons we are having the extremely tight stocks situation,” Brink van Wyk, a trader at Pretoria-based BVG, said by phone today.

“This affects prices.”

National stockpiles of the grain fell 25 percent at the end of December from a year earlier, the Pretoria-based South African Grain Information Service said January 24.

Inventories slid to 1.84 million tons for white corn and dropped to 1.33 million tons for the yellow variety.

Meal made from the white variety is used for a staple food known locally as pap and yellow corn is mostly fed to animals.

Wheat for delivery in March gained 0.2 percent to 3,829 rand a ton.

Soybeans for delivery in May increased 1.1 percent to 5,955 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News