South African Corn prices were down despite better weather forecasts

South African Corn prices

Corn prices in South Africa were bearish for seven straight sessions, as the African rand rose against the dollar, and weather worries subside in late planted regions.

July white corn futures have fallen by 1.2% on the day, and 7.4% on the week, at 1,836 rand. While July yellow corn futures finished down 1.9%, at 1945 rand, resulting to a 7.9% fall in the week.

Wandile Sihlobo, a representative of AgBiz, said prices were being supported in part by the strength of the rand against the dollar. Mr. Sihlobo stated that “The other factors that we see playing a part is really good corn conditions,”

There have been concerns in dryness in some of the country’s later planted corn areas, but Mr. Sihlobo said that “over the Easter weekend, those regions received good rains”

On Friday the president of Zambia announced that a temporary ban on exports would be lifted this year, as a production surplus is expected. Zambia suspended foreign sales after a drought last year, but this policy will be reversed, due to the worries that a surplus of grain would suppress prices in the new season.

The Zambian corn crop is foreseen to reach 2.87 tons, a million tons more in the domestic demand, although the state-run food agency has a mandate to keep strategic reserves at a hefty 500,000 tons.

Kenya, has already said it will import 400,000 tons of yellow corn from Ukraine, to meet local demand, but Zambian white corn supplies will meet that need, this was an observation from Mr. Sihlobo.

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