Maize rises on firm demand.

Maize prices gained further due to firm buys by feed manufacturers. A rise in arrivals, however, prevented sharp gains in prices.

Bulk buyers are buying the commodity aggressively fearing a severe supply crunch ahead, as the production is likely to be smaller than last year.

In Nizamabad, arrivals of maize were pegged at 750-800 bags (1 bag = 100 kg), up 100-150 bags, while in Davangere, arrivals were estimated at 700 bags, compared with 600 bags the previous day.

On NCDEX, the May maize contract ended at a new high of 1,697 rupees per 100 kg, up 65 rupees from the previous close.

Corn futures ended the Thursday session with most contracts 5 to 7 1/4 cents in the red. This morning’s Export Sales report indicated that 969,742 MT of old crop corn was sold in the week of 2/28, with 280,900 MT for new crop.

Total sales were on the high side of estimates but down 35.13% from this week in 2018. Mexico was the lead buyer of 375,300 MT (and all the new crop), with Japan buying 306,700 MT.

Total commitments are now 1.5% below last year after being 17% ahead a few weeks back. China did purchase a cargo of US sorghum in that week, the first since last August.

Trade estimates ahead of tomorrow’s monthly USDA update show Brazil corn production slightly higher at 94.66 MMT, with Argentina at 45.92 MMT. World ending stocks are seen at 309.06 MMT, slightly lower that the February report.