South African maize prices dropped on Thursday as traders took profits following Wednesday’s gains.

“Risky assets jumped on Wednesday on the back of the US fiscal deal‚ but today we have seen some payback as guys took profits‚” a local trader said.

The white maize contract for March 2013 delivery fell by R26 to R2‚176 per ton and the white maize contract for July 2013 dropped by R20 to R2‚024 per ton.

The yellow maize contract for March 2013 delivery declined by R36 to R2‚262 per ton and the July 2013 yellow maize contract shed R36 to R2‚076 per ton.

The wheat contract for March 2013 fell by R34 to R3‚468 per ton and the July 2013 wheat contract decreased by R27 to R3‚570 per ton.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that US grain and soybean futures fell across the board‚ extending early losses on speculative selling.

Wheat futures led the declines‚ slipping to six-month lows.

Traders are back to eyeing the same fundamentals that weighed on prices before the fiscal cliff was averted‚ analysts say.

Lagging export demand and no fresh news to impact fundamentals are keeping buyers cautious.

CBOT March wheat was down 24 3/4c or 3.2% at $7.53 1/4/bushel‚ March corn was down 9 3/4c‚ or 1.4% at 6.88 1/2‚ and March soy was down 18c‚ or 1.3% at $13.91 1/2. - I-Net Bridge