File image: Reuters

Maize closed mainly softer and wheat a tad higher on Friday amid a very quiet trading day going into the weekend.

“We have seen a bit of sideways trade in maize the last couple of days‚ with nothing much happening in the market. There is no fresh news out of the US and prices are the same every day‚” said Andries van der Walt‚ trader at Vrystaat Mielies in Potchefstroom.

“Wheat closed higher today on the back of a higher US wheat price and a weakening rand‚” he added.

The near-dated August white maize contract added R6 to R2‚705 a ton and the September white maize contract closed unchanged at R2713.00 a ton. The December white maize contract slipped R7.00 to R2‚775.00 a ton.

The near-dated August yellow maize contract shed R3.00 to R2‚721 a ton‚ the September yellow maize contract lost R2 to R2‚732 a ton and the December yellow maize contract was down R8.00 to R2‚757.

The August wheat contract was up R42 at R3‚440 a ton‚ the September wheat contract added R47.00 to R3‚468.00 a ton and the December wheat contract gained R50.00 to R3‚479.00 a ton.

Meanwhile US wheat futures climbed on Thursday‚ rising on outlooks for tighter Russian supplies.

Chicago Board of Trade futures for September delivery ended up 15 cents‚ or 1.8%‚ at US$8.61 3/4 a bushel.

Wheat futures were buoyed by concerns about reduced wheat production in the Black Sea area‚ particularly with tighter Russian wheat stocks rekindling speculation that exports from Russia will be eventually curtailed and lead to increased US demand.

Moscow-based SovEcon‚ a grain analyst‚ reported on Thursday that Russian wheat stocks had slumped by 30% to 10.61 million tons as of August 1. Russia wheat stocks are at their lowest in nine years‚ SovEcon said.

Analysts said the Russian news was renewing hopes that US demand could improve once inventories of wheat from the Black Sea area were depleted.

Separately‚ corn futures ended higher‚ supported by ongoing concern about US production after a historic drought gripped the US farm belt and the need to keep prices at levels that will ration demand.

CBOT December corn settled up 3 1/2 cents‚ or 0.5%‚ at $8.07 1/2. - I-Net Bridge