Business

South African wheat futures reach 13-month high

Andre Janse van Vuuren

As the rand has weakened, imports of wheat have become more expensive and prices in the US have risen.

Wheat for delivery in March added 1% on Tuesday. (Gallo)

Wheat futures traded in South Africa touched a 13-month high after the rand weakened, making imports of the grain more expensive, and prices rose in the US market.

Wheat for delivery in March gained 1.3% to R3.78 ($347) a metric tonne by the close on the South African Futures Exchange in Johannesburg. That was the highest settlement for a most-active contract since December 3 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

South Africa's currency reached 10.93 per dollar on Wednesday, the worst intraday level since October 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The nation is sub-Saharan Africa's largest producer of wheat after Ethiopia and the region's biggest buyer of the grain after Nigeria and Sudan, US department of agriculture data showed.

"The rand's decline had a lot to do with it, because South Africa's a net importer," Lindy van Blommestein, a trader at Farmwise Grains Ltd., said. "It was also supported by trade in Chicago and Kansas."

Wheat for delivery in March added 1% yesterday to $5.79 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. – Bloomberg

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