Maize prices hit record high in spot markets as supply runs dry

Price of maize rose to a record high of 2,450 rupees per 100 kg in Nizamabad, Telangana, as arrivals have declined sharply in the past few days from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Maize is currently being sold at 2,400-2,450 rupees per 100 kg, compared with 2,200-2,250 rupees about a fortnight ago. In Purnea, Bihar, another key market, the commodity is being sold at 2,300-2,350 rupees per 100 kg, up from 2,150-2,200 rupees during the same period.

Mill gate prices have already crossed 2,500 rupees per 100 kg in some places. In Sangli, Maharashtra, maize was sold at a record 2,530 rupees per 100 kg. Most stockists have cleared out their entire stocks at higher prices. Supplies from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are negligible and the fresh crop is now expected only in October.

Maize prices started rising sharply as arrivals of the kharif crop from last season dried up. Prices hit a record high of 2,350 rupees per 100 kg in February. Traders now expect the prices to rise to 2,500 rupees due to the severe supply shortage.

Corn futures ended the session with most contracts 7 to 9 cents in the red. Cooler Corn Belt temps this week are a negative, helpful as more of the crop reaches the pollination stage.

The weekly Crop Progress report showed 35% of the crop silking as of Sunday vs. the 66% average, with 5% in the dough stage (10% average). Corn conditions slipped 1% to 57% gd/ex and 2 points on the Brugler500 index to 351. Analysts were expecting steady to a 1% improvement.

The Export Inspections report from USDA showed corn shipments of just 438,045 MT in the week that ended on July 18. That was a 36.56% drop from last week and less than 1/3 of the same week last year. AgRural estimates the Brazilian second corn crop at 67% harvested, which is well above the 36% from this week last year.