On Monday, the South African Rand strengthened to levels of R15.85 against the US Dollar off the back of the repo rate hike imposed by the South African Reserve Bank on Thursday last week. After the 0.60% decrease of China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (a measure of factory activity in China), the rand swiftly retreated back to current levels of around R16.25 to the US Dollar. China hasn’t seen these lows since 2012. El Nino’s expected effects on agricultural commodities have finally been felt closer to home with SAFEX White Maize March 2016 contracts reaching the highest price per ton in over 11 years of R5,376.00 in January 2016, now settling at levels of around R5,016.00 per ton in the first week of February.
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