By Andries Mahlangu
Johannesburg – Maize prices ended firmer for the third straight session on Friday‚ as markets players looked to the release of the sixth maize production forecast for 2012 on Tuesday.
“It is difficult to work out why our market ran up to limit on some of the longer-dated contracts‚“ said Lukas de Waal‚ a trader at Brisen Trading in Pretoria. “It could be that some guys have taken short positions ahead of the report‚ thinking that the estimates will be lower.”
The crop estimates committee (CEC) kept total maize production estimates unchanged at just over 11 million tons last month.
The near-dated July white maize contract rallied R48 to R2‚736 a ton and the September white maize contract gained R61.80 to R2‚756.80 a ton. December white maize lifted R70.20 to R2‚808.20 a ton.
The near-dated July yellow maize contract was up R63 to R2‚730 a ton‚ the September yellow maize contract surged R80 to R2‚711 a ton and the December yellow maize contract rallied R80 to R2‚740 a ton.
The July wheat contract climbed R55 to R3‚590 a ton‚ the September wheat contract was up R70 to R3‚620 a ton‚ and the December wheat contract rallied R81 to R3‚560 a ton.
US grain and soybean futures were mixed on Friday‚ with the latter setting still-new highs‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported. Soybeans continued to climb as traders added risk premium amid drought worries.
Meanwhile‚ corn futures have stabilised and wheat was weaker on pre-weekend profit-taking.
Dry and hot weather conditions in the US have been the primary reason for the surge in SA maize prices recently. The US is the world’s largest producer and exporter of maize‚ which is an important input in a vast amount of food production. - I-Net Bridge