Prices of maize in Davangere, a key market in Karnataka, remained steady at 1,100-1,400 rupees per 100 kg in a lacklustre trade ahead of Diwali. Daily arrivals of maize have increased to 10,000 bags (1 bag = 100 kg) from around 5,000-6,000 bags till last week. Moisture content in the fresh crop is still high at 18-19%, against the desirable level of 14%. Price of the coarse grain in Purnea, a key market in Bihar, was also flat at 1,450-1,460 rupees per 100 kg, said a local trader. Acreage under rabi maize in the country was 5.1% higher on year at 143,400 ha. Also, a weak and patchy distribution of monsoon rains during Jun-Sep led farmers to grow more of maize, which is a sturdy crop and requires less water. During the Jun-Sep southwest monsoon season, India received 804.0 mm of rainfall compared with the normal weighted average of 887.5 mm. On the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, trade volume in both wheat and maize futures contracts remained subdued.