File image: Reuters

SA maize and wheat prices closed the Thursday session up due to higher Chicago Board of Trade figures and a weaker rand.

“Maize has been under pressure because of a stronger rand the last two days‚ but the rand has weakened today and therefore maize prices are higher‚” said Piet Faure‚ trader at CJS Securities in Johannesburg.

“The wheat situation has changed because of the FAO — Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN — report that was released this morning‚ with the wheat crops lower then previously forecast‚ which drove wheat prices up today‚” he said.

“In American corn prices are higher because farmers could switch to corn again from wheat for animal feed‚ because the wheat price is very high‚” he added.

Traders worldwide are waiting for the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report tomorrow that will reveal world demand and supply figures for all agricultural commodities.

“Traders are expecting wheat stocks to be down because of too much rain in South America and drought in Eastern Europe. World maize production is expected to be slightly lower to unchanged‚” Faure said.

Locally white maize for December delivery‚ the most active contract on the South African Futures Exchange‚ added R27.00 to close at R2‚477.00 a ton. Meal made from the grain is SA’s staple food.

Yellow maize for December delivery‚ the most active contract for yellow maize‚ gained R34 to close at R2‚527 a ton. The grain is used mainly as animal feed in SA.

Wheat for December delivery added R32.00 to close at R3‚719.

US corn futures rose on Wednesday‚ pulled higher by the gains in wheat since both crops are animal feed grains‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Corn traders are waiting for the government on Friday to update its crop estimates‚ as they debate whether supply and demand are already roughly balanced at current prices. December corn futures settled up 3 1/4 cents‚ or 0.4%‚ at $7.44 1/4 a bushel.

US wheat futures rose 1.9% to a one-month closing high on Wednesday‚ buoyed by concerns about unfavourable weather for crops growing in the US and abroad. Traders cited concerns ranging from dry weather in the central US to too much rain in Europe and Argentina.

Chicago Board of Trade December wheat futures settled up 17 cents at $8.94 a bushel. - I-Net Bridge