Maize futures end firm on softer rand

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Maize Crop Independent Newspapers File photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi

South African maize futures ended higher on Tuesday, boosted by the weaker rand versus the US dollar.

The rand fell to 7.95 to the US dollar in the session, from 7.88 on Thursday.

The May 2012 white maize contract was up R29 to R2,366 per ton, July 2012 white maize gained R25 to R2,305 per ton, and September 2012 white maize lifted R30 to R2,327 per ton, according to preliminary I-Net Bridge data.

The May 2012 yellow maize contract was up R21 to R2,233 per ton, while the July 2012 yellow maize contract added R30.80 to R2,223.80 per ton and the September 2012 yellow maize contract rose R27 to R2,237 per ton.

The May wheat contract was up R17 to R2,770 per ton, July wheat gained R16 to R2,816 per ton, while the September 2012 wheat contract was unchanged at R2,817 per ton.

Meanwhile, the US corn futures dropped to a fresh one-week low on Monday, pressured by profit-taking as traders look to reduce risk ahead of crop reports from government forecasters.

Corn futures for May delivery fell 1.4%, to $6.49 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

The declines were driven partly by managed funds selling futures to exit bets that prices would rise.

Many market participants have taken more cautious positions ahead of supply and demand reports due out today from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA will release updated US and world supply and demand estimates. The general consensus of analysts calls for tighter U.S. and world supplies.

“While traders anticipate tighter supply forecasts, the inventory levels are still not to a point that would justify further rationing of demand beyond today's price levels,” said Karl Setzer, analyst with MaxYield Cooperative in West Bend, Iowa. - I-Net Bridge

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