File image: Reuters

Maize closed higher on Tuesday‚ while wheat closed lower due to a stronger rand‚ with both pulling back slightly from their opening levels.

“White maize closed in the positive‚ but pulled back during the day and the same for yellow maize. There was a bit of rolling out of September contracts into December contracts for both white an yellow maize‚” said Andrew Fletcher‚ trader at Unigrain.

“Wheat closed negative after also opening higher on the back of higher Chicago Board of Trade prices‚ but the rand strengthened and the wheat price came down‚” he added.

The near-dated August white maize contract added R20.00 to R2‚727 a ton and the September white maize contract closed R14.00 higher at R2‚737 a ton. The December white maize contract gained R12.00 to R2‚806 a ton.

The near-dated August yellow maize contract added R2.00 to R2‚728 a ton‚ the September yellow maize contract added R6.00 to R2‚741 a ton‚ while the December yellow maize contract was unchanged at R2‚775.

The August wheat contract was untraded at R3‚501 a ton‚ the September wheat contract shed R18.00 to R3‚497 a ton and the December wheat contract was R4.00 softer at R3‚508 a ton.

Meanwhile US corn and soy futures both rose on Monday on low anecdotal yield estimates from a crop tour and a possible threat to Chinese crops from a typhoon.

Chicago Board of Trade September corn futures settled up 16 3/4 cents or 2.1% at US$8.15 1/4 a bushel. Most-active December corn rose 16 1/2 cents or 2% to $8.23 3/4 a bushel.

September soybeans rose 32 3/4 cents or 2% to $17.03 3/4 a bushel. Most-active November soybeans rose 37 3/4 cents or 2.3% to $16.83 1/2 a bushel.

Corn and soybeans were boosted by early reports from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour‚ which began on Monday‚ that crops in parts of the Midwest appeared likely to have low yields. On one leg of the tour‚ scouts sampling four fields in northeast Nebraska found an average estimated yield of 68.4 bushels an acre‚ in an area where scouts estimated 157.6 bushels an acre last year. For soybeans on the same leg‚ the average pod count was 967.5 in a three-foot by three-foot area‚ trailing 1‚373 a year ago. Soybean pod counts varied widely.

Speculative funds on Monday were renewing their bullish bets in the markets as most participants were surprised by the acute crop stress and lower yields on the crop tour‚ AgResource said.

Corn and soybeans were also boosted by worries about crops in China. A tropical storm likely to turn into a typhoon may hit northeast China's Manchuria region in about a week‚ said Commodity Weather Group agricultural meteorologist David Streit. There is a roughly 40% chance the storm could take that path‚ which would threaten up to 20% of China's soy and corn crops‚ he said.

Higher corn and soybean prices pulled wheat futures higher on Monday. CBOT September wheat rose 5 cents or 0.6% to $8.79 1/2 a bushel. Kansas City Board of Trade September wheat rose 5 1/2 cents or 0.6% to $8.91 a bushel. Minneapolis Grain Exchange September wheat rose 3 1/2 cents or 0.4% to $9.31 a bushel. - I-Net Bridge