2260810 30% of South African commercial famers will no longer be able to farm due to to the price of maize.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi

South African maize futures rallied on Monday, lifted by patchy rainfall in key crop growing regions in the country.

The March 2012 white maize contract lifted R58 to R2,392 per ton, the May 2012 white maize gained R59 to R2,269 per ton, July 2012 white maize added R44 to R2,058 per ton, according to preliminary I-Net Bridge data.

The March 2012 yellow maize contract was up R46 to R2,436 per ton, the May 2012 yellow maize contract was up R30 to R2,185 per ton and the July 2012 yellow maize contract lifted R24.20 to R2,001.20 per ton.

The March wheat contract gained R46 to R2,780 per ton, while May wheat picked up R29 to R2,824 per ton, and the July 2012 wheat contract was up R55.80 to R2,905.80 per ton.

“The rain forecasts for the next two weeks, particularly in Mpumalanga and Free State, look dismal. That should lift the spot prices in the short term,” said a local trader.

The US soybean futures ended higher on Friday, continuing their upward trend, fuelled by strong export demand and tightening supply outlooks, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

“Soybean prices were lifted by positive US Department of Agriculture demand data and weekly export sales beating trade estimates,” said Mike Zuzolo, president Global Commodity Analytics and Consulting in Lafayette, Ind.

Strong demand continues to underpin the upward trend in soybean futures, with fears of smaller South American production making soybeans very attractive to buyers for fall delivery.

In contrast, US Department of Agriculture forecasts corn and wheat supplies increasing as a result of larger plantings and production in 2012.

Large increases in corn acreage and production open the door for US end-of-year inventories to double next year.

CBOT March corn ended up 1 1/4 cent at $6.40 3/4 a bushel while December fell 3/4 cent to $5.58. - I-Net Bridge