South African maize and wheat futures ended higher on Thursday‚ on technical buying due to fear of a fall in US supply.
The US agriculture department released its monthly supply and demand forecast report yesterday‚ lowering its forecast for maize to 146 bushels an acre from 166 bushels an acre.
“This lower forecast was a bit of a shocker and we saw local technical buying today in our markets. The bushels do not look good and we are worried about lower supply‚” said Andries van der Walt‚ trader at Vrystaat Mielies in Potchefstroom.
“There is some forecast for rain in the US‚ but it’s in the air ... nothing on the ground‚” he said.
Local wheat prices were up on the back of a weaker rand and due to weaker predicted wheat output figures in the US.
The near-dated July white maize contract was up R71.20 at R2‚474.20 ton and the September white maize contract added R69.40 to R2‚506.40 a ton. December white maize gained R74.00 to R2‚562.00 a ton.
The near-dated July yellow maize contract added R70.00 to R2‚425 and the September yellow maize contract gained R68.00 to R2‚453 a ton. The December yellow maize contract was up R65.80 to R2‚496.80 a ton.
The July wheat contract added R64.00 to R3‚392 a ton and the September wheat contract gained R60.00 to R3‚440 a ton‚ while the December wheat contract was up R43.00 at R3‚299 a ton.
The US agriculture department on Wednesday slashed its forecast for this year’s corn harvest‚ projecting that the crop was no longer likely to set a record because of a worsening drought in the Midwest. US corn futures initially jumped on the revised forecast before turning negative later in the session‚ as traders said expectations for a lower yield already had been priced into futures. Separate worries about slowing ethanol production also pressured prices‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.
In a monthly supply-and-demand report‚ the US agriculture department cut its estimated corn yield by a higher-than-expected 12% from its forecast last month‚ to 146 bushels an acre from 166 bushels an acre. Analysts on average had expected a forecast of 154.1 bushels an acre‚ according to an earlier Dow Jones Newswires poll.
Chicago Board of Trade corn futures for July delivery‚ thinly traded ahead of the contract’s expiration on Friday‚ settled down 10 1/4 cents‚ or 1.3%‚ at $7.50 3/4 a bushel. December corn fell 13 1/2 cents‚ or 1.9%‚ to $7.04 a bushel. - I-Net Bridge