Spot maize prices down on low buys, steady arrivals

Prices of maize fell across key spot markets due to a decline in demand from bulk buyers such as feed manufacturers and the starch industry. Steady arrivals also weighed on prices. Demand weakened today as end users have reduced picking up stocks at higher prices.

On the NCDEX, maize futures fell sharply tracking spot markets. The most-active August contract ended nearly 2% lower at 2,164 rupees per 100 kg. Maize prices, however, are seen rising sharply going ahead as bulk consumers anticipate a sharp decline in output in 2018-19 (Jul-Jun).

Poultry feed and starch manufacturers, key industrial users of maize, estimate the 2018-19 crop at 18-20 mln tn, compared with 28.7 mln tn the previous year.

Corn futures posted 12 to 19 1/2 cent gains in the front months ahead of the July 4th holiday, after chart gaps from back in May held in several key contracts. The weekly EIA report showed average ethanol production back up 9,000 barrels per day for the week ending June 28 to 1.081 million bpd.

Stocks rose 1.277 million barrels to 22.844 million barrels. Census trade data showed May corn exports at 4.69 MMT (184.63 mbu), the lowest since May 2013. Official Census exports are at 1.715 bbu through May 31, with Export Inspections data showing just 1.643 bbu through June 27. That’s a 72 mbu discrepancy with the official number including 27 fewer days.

DDG Exports totaled 1.02 MMT in that month, with ethanol at 99.609 million gallons, the second largest May exports on record. Friday’s delayed Export sales report is expected to show 100,000-400,000 MT of old crop corn bookings in the week of June 27, with new crop at 100,000-300,000 MT.