Bloomberg reports prices in South Africa climbed for a second day, to $231/metric ton for white and $206 for yellow, on lack of rain. There is only a 30% chance of rain in the Free State, which produces 43% of the corn crop through March 8. Other important provinces, such as North West and Mpumalanga, have similar or no chances. As a result, the crop, which already is expected to be cut by a third, may fall even more, according to Grain SA, a farm organization.
In the February supply/demand report, USDA had pegged South African exports for 2014/15 at 2.5 million metric tons, admittedly a small amount compared with the United States at 44.45 MMT. However, with production prospects for 2015/16 in Ukraine also expected to plummet due to the crisis there and an expected drop in acreage in the United States, tighter global production and availability is shaping up.
Keep in mind, there is no shortage of corn at this stage, but supplies are moving in the right direction.