File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - Yellow-corn futures in South Africa rose to a record for a fourth straight session on concern that domestic stock levels remained low.

Yellow corn for delivery in March, the most active contract, gained 0.6 percent to 2,956 rand ($273) a metric ton by the noon close, the highest since trading started on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg in 1996.

The nation has about 3.1 million tons of corn stocks remaining until April, when the harvest begins, said Grain SA, which represents commercial farmers.

The country uses about 900,000 tons a month, indicating a shortfall of about 500,000 tons by April.

Prices will ease once new imports reach the country, scheduled for the second half of February, Kobus Theron, a trader at Suidwes Landbou (Pty) Ltd., said by phone from Leeudoringstad in the North West province.

“Until then you’ll see these price trends continue,” Theron said.

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 0.2 percent to 3,020 rand a ton. - Bloomberg News