File image: Reuters

South African maize prices closed mixed‚ while wheat settled the Monday session lower due to weaker Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT) figures.

“Locally there is abundant maize stock for the near-dated maize contracts - we are overstocked for the near therm therefore the December and March maize contracts closed lower. However the July contracts for maize closed higher because there are vast areas in the western part of the North West and in the Free State that have not had enough rain for the farmers to start planting. Now is normally the correct time to plant. Even if they get good rains now‚ the farmers will first have to prepare the soil‚ and will only be able to start planting in a week or two‚” said Thys Grobbelaar‚ grain analyst at Senwes Agribusiness in Klerksdorp.

“Our wheat prices were down on lower Chicago prices‚” he added.

Locally white maize for December delivery‚ the most active contract on the South African Futures Exchange‚ shed R25 to close at R2‚440 a ton.

Yellow maize for December delivery‚ the most active contract for yellow maize‚ shed R21 to close at R2‚492 a ton. The grain is used mainly as animal feed in SA.

Wheat for December delivery closed R33.00 lower at R3‚718.

US corn futures fell slightly as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)‚ in a monthly crop report released on Friday‚ raised its forecast for the country’s corn harvest this year.

The USDA estimated that farmers will harvest 10.725 billion bushels of corn‚ up from its estimate of 10.706 billion last month‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported. The forecast was a turnaround from months of shrinking projections for the harvest.

December corn futures fell 2 1/2 cents‚ or 0.3%‚ to US$7.38 3/4 a bushel.

Wheat futures fell as the USDA cut its forecast for US exports‚ resulting in a higher forecast for domestic stocks of wheat on May 31‚ the end of the crop’s marketing year.

The USDA cut its export forecast by 50 million bushels‚ or 4.3%‚ to 1.1 billion bushels‚ and it forecast US ending stocks of wheat will be 704 million bushels.

CBOT December wheat futures settled down 16 cents‚ or 1.8%‚ at $8.86 1/2 a bushel. - I-Net Bridge