File image: Reuters

South African maize futures came under heavy selling pressure on Monday, in line with international corn prices.

The May 2012 white maize contract was down R80 to R2,206 per ton, July 2012 white maize lost R76 to R2,170 per ton, and September 2012 white maize shed R72 to R2,195 per ton, according to preliminary I-Net Bridge data.

The May 2012 yellow maize contract was down R69 to R2,110 per ton, while the July 2012 yellow maize contract shed R65 to R2,110 per ton and the September 2012 yellow maize contract was off R62 to R2,141 per ton.

The May wheat contract slipped R8 to R2,734 per ton, July wheat dipped R25 to R2,769 per ton, while the September 2012 wheat contract lost R19.80 to R2,789.20 per ton.

Meanwhile, Dow Jones Newswires reported that US grain and soybean futures ended lower on Friday on broad commodity weakness, as traders were averse to risk amid global economic uncertainty.

The losses were driven by a widespread risk-off trade across asset classes, with declines witnessed in equities, energy and grain futures. The US dollar's surge weighed on grains in general, with traders continuing to take profits after recent gains, helping to extend the losses.

Investors reduced risk exposure on fear of slower purchases by China amid data showing its economy grew slower than expected in the first quarter.

Wheat futures slumped to two-week lows on global economic weakness, with ample world wheat supplies generating fundamental pressure as well.

Wheat was the weakest leg of the grain complex, as the market was retreating to the lower end of the recent trading range, said Doug Bergman, agricultural derivatives specialist with RCM Asset Management. “Bullish news for wheat is hard to find and any time corn struggles, wheat struggles more,” Bergman said. - I-Net Bridge