Better buys support maize.

Spot maize prices extended gains as demand from feed manufacturers remained firm. Bulk buyers are aggressively buying the commodity due to fear of a severe supply crunch.

Prices are, however, likely to soften going ahead as end-users have also started importing maize as spot prices rose sharply.

In Nizamabad, Telangana, arrivals were pegged steady at 500 bags (1 bag = 100 kg) and in Davangere, Karnataka, arrivals were at 450 bags, steady from the previous day.

Corn futures came back to post 2 to 2 1/4 cent gains in most front months on Friday, with May down 2.99% on the week. The USDA Grain Crushing report this afternoon showed 444.02 mbu of corn used for ethanol production in January.

That was down 3.6% from December and 6.74% lower than last year. Friday’s Commitment of Traders report indicated that specs added another 71,582 contracts to their net short position on Feb 19 to take it to -86,275 contracts in corn futures and options.

Corn commitments for export (shipped and outstanding sales) are 0.7% larger than this time last year. As of Feb 21, they were 64% of USDA’s export projection, with the 5-year average at 71% for that date.

FC Stone raised their Brazil second crop corn forecast by 0.9 MMT to 65.8 MMT.