Maize prices up on robust demand

Prices of maize continued to rise sharply across spot markets due to a robust demand from bulk buyers. A gradual decline in arrivals also supported prices. Bulk buyers are purchasing maize aggressively as they anticipate a further decline in arrivals. Prices rose despite the government allowing import of 500,000 tn non-genetically modified maize as market participants do not expect the shipments to arrive before September, which will keep domestic supply tight till then.

Maize prices are seen rising further over the coming days as bulk buyers anticipate a sharp decline in supplies over the coming weeks due to a likely small crop in 2018-19 (Jul-Jun). Poultry feed and starch manufacturers, the key industrial buyers of maize, have pegged the crop at 18-20 mln tn this year, compared with 28.75 mln tn produced last year. On National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, maize futures rose tracking spot cues. The most-active August contract ended at 2,230 rupees per 100 kg, up 0.6% from the previous close.

Corn futures posted 6 to 9 1/4 cent gains in most contracts, with soon to expire July up 13 1/2 cents. USDA raised their old crop corn carryout estimate by 145 mbu to 2.34 bbu, on a cut to several demand categories. They reduced their export projection to 2.1 bbu, down 100 mbu.

As expected, they used acreage numbers from the June 28 report, leaving projected yield at 166 bpa. That caused a 195 mbu jump in new crop production to 13.875 bbu. New crop ending stocks were raised by 335 mbu to 2.01 bbu. The world table raised Argentina’s corn crop at 51 MMT. Brazil was left at 101 MMT by USDA, with CONAB bringing their number up another 1.4 to 98.5 MMT.

World carryout for 18/19 was up 2.82 MMT to 328.75 MMT, with new crop going opposite of expectations, up 8.4 MMT to 298.82 MMT. The weekly Export Sales report this morning showed an improvement to old crop corn bookings in the week of July 4, at 505,396 MT. That was 6-week high and 25.69% larger than the same week last year.