File image: Reuters

Maize and wheat prices closed higher on Monday‚ mostly due to higher Chicago Board of Trade prices and a weaker rand.

“Maize although up‚ the increase is lower than is should have been. It should have traded much higher on the back of US prices‚ but it only gained R7. There is just no buyer interest at the R2‚800 price levels‚ because it looks expensive from the demand side‚” a local trader said.

The near-dated August white maize contract added R1.80 to R2‚706.80 a ton and the September white maize contract closed R4.00 higher at R2720 a ton. The December white maize contract gained R7.00 to R2‚788 a ton.

The near-dated August yellow maize contract added R5.00 to R2‚725 a ton‚ the September yellow maize contract also gained R5 to R2‚739 a ton and the December yellow maize contract was up R4.00 to R2‚772.

The August wheat contract was up R55 at R3‚501 a ton‚ the September wheat contract gained R46.00 to R3‚516 a ton and the December wheat contract gained R34.00 to R3‚511 a ton.

Meanwhile US wheat futures end higher on Friday‚ rebounding from prior losses for the third consecutive day on optimism for US export demand. Chicago Board of Trade futures for September delivery settled 12 3/4 cents‚ or 1.5%‚ higher at $8.74 1/2 a bushel.

Wheat futures were supported by speculation that reduced wheat production in the Black Sea region‚ particularly from Russia‚ could restrict exports from the area and increase demand for US wheat.

“Traders are pricing in the possibility of export demand for US wheat‚” said Shawn McCambridge‚ senior grains analyst with Jefferies Bache in Chicago.

Moscow-based consultancy SovEcon reported on Thursday that Russian wheat stocks had slumped to their lowest levels in nine years.

Soybean futures ended higher‚ supported by a tight supply outlook and the uncertainty of US crop potential. Soybeans have a strong demand base even at high price levels‚ and until the market shows some signs of rationing demand‚ investors were not willing to give up on bullish market bets‚ said Chad Henderson‚ president of advisory firm Prime Ag Consultants in Brookfield‚ Wis. CBOT November soybeans ended up 20 1/2 cents‚ or 1.3%‚ to US$16.45 3/4 a bushel.

Corn futures ended mostly unchanged but down for the week. The market has found a comfort zone‚ McCambridge said. The market is range-bound‚ with market participants content with current prices until crop production is solidified by harvest results‚ he said. CBOT December corn settled down 1/4 cent‚ or 0.03%‚ at $8.07 1/4. - I-Net Bridge