File image: Reuters

Maize prices eased on Tuesday‚ ending a five-day streak‚ in what analysts attributed to some profit taking.

The SA longer-dated maize futures surged to the South African Futures Exchange-imposed maximum daily limit gain of R80 on Monday‚ as hot and dry weather conditions continued to hit US crops.

Johann Theron‚ head of the agricultural commodities trading desk at RMB‚ said maize prices in the US remained sensitive to any relief rainfall probability because they were already at record levels. “We could see price correction in that part of the world‚ which would also reflect on SA grain prices.”

At 12:00 when the local grains market closed‚ the near-dated July white maize contract was down R56.80 to R2‚577.20 a ton and the September white maize contract shed R39 to R2‚603 a ton. December white maize lost R40 to R2‚660 a ton.

The near-dated July yellow maize contract lost R33 to R2‚550 a ton‚ the September yellow maize contract dropped R30 to R2‚560 a ton and the December yellow maize contract was down R50 to R2‚591 a ton.

The July wheat contract lost R48 to R3‚482 a ton‚ the September wheat contract was down R45 to R3‚525 a ton‚ and the December wheat contract was down R29 at R3‚420 a ton.

The US maize crop - in its sensitive pollination phase - is suffering from heat stress‚ which could impact on the expected yields.

The US is the world’s largest producer and exporter of maize. Maize is an important input in a vast amount of food production. These include among others millers‚ the animal feed and poultry industries.

The US Department of Agriculture on Monday confirmed the trend of downward-spiraling condition ratings for the nation's corn and soybean crops‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported. - I-Net Bridge