Maize up on firm demand

Prices of maize rose across key spot markets due to firm purchases by bulk buyers. Prevailing uncertainties over import of maize also supported prices.

Although the government allowed import of 100,000 tn maize at a concessional duty of 15% to deal with an acute supply shortage, there is still uncertainty over when will they be imported.

Robust purchases by feed manufacturers also supported prices, as they anticipate a decline in fresh-crop arrivals in Bihar. Bihar is the largest producer of rabi maize.

Tracking spot cues, maize futures contracts on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange also rose. The June contract today hit a four-week high of 1,950 rupees per 100 kg, and ended at 1,935 rupees, up 1.6% from the previous close.

Corn futures settled with most contracts steady to 1 1/4 cents higher, with the front months coming down 8 to 10 cents from their intraday highs. Soil moisture models show some drying this week, which should allow for planting to pick up a little. However, rains are expected to return later in the weekend/beginning of next week in the Corn Belt.

This morning’s weekly EIA report indicated the largest ethanol production and implied corn use number since the week of 1/11 at 1.051 million barrels per day. That was up 15,000 bpd from the previous week, as ethanol stocks were also drawn down by 218,000 barrels to 22.25 million barrels.

USDA is expected to show 200,000-500,000 MT of old crop corn sales in the week of May 9, with new crop seen at 100,000-400,000 MT ahead of Thursday’s report. A private Ukrainian consultancy trimmed their corn crop estimate by 2.5 MMT to 33.1 MMT for 2019.