Firm buys lift maize.

Maize prices extended gains across key spot markets as bulk buyers bought the commodity aggressively on fear of tight supply going ahead. However, rise in arrivals prevented sharp gains.

Bulk buyers anticipate a severe supply crunch ahead, as the production is likely to be smaller than last year, so they are replenishing stocks.

In Nizamabad, arrivals of maize were pegged at 900 bags (1 bag = 100 kg), up 150 bags from Thursday. In Davangere, arrivals were estimated steady at 700 bags.

On NCDEX, the May maize contract ended at a new high of 1,740 rupees per 100 kg, up 43 rupees from the previous close.

Corn futures were mixed on Friday, with front months fractionally to 1 1/4 cents lower. May was down 2.35% this week after being 2.99% lower the week prior.

In their monthly WASDE update, USDA increased US ending stocks for 18/19 by 100 mbu to 1.835 bbu. That was due to a reduction to ethanol demand (-25 mbu) and lower exports (-75 mbu).

Total commitments are lagging a year ago by 1.5% but accumulated exports are 39.69% larger. On the world side, both Brazil (94.5 MMT) and Argentina (46 MMT) production numbers were UNCH.

Ending stocks for 18/19 were down 1.25 MMT at 308.53 MMT on the world balance sheet, with China feed corn usage up 3 MMT as they push a hog diet heavy in corn and lower in soybean meal.

Up to date CFTC data showed specs in corn futures and options adding 72,318 contracts to their net short position of 176,777 contracts as of March 5.