File image: Reuters

Maize and wheat prices ended lower on Monday‚ tracking the Chicago Board of trade prices.

“The US corn and wheat prices are a bit under pressure because of profit taking and ahead of a world agricultural supply and demand estimates report out on August 10‚ the US supply and demand figures report of all US crops. Everyone is waiting for the report before thy take positions‚” said a local trader.

“Our local wheat and maize prices are also down due to the stronger rand‚ which has appreciated since Friday‚” added the trader.

The near-dated August white maize contract was down R38.80 to R2‚661.20 a ton and the September white maize contract shed R33.80 R2‚684.20 a ton. December white maize declined by R39 to R2‚750 a ton.

The near-dated August yellow maize contract was down R22 to R2‚680 a ton‚ the September yellow maize contract was off R20 to R2‚700 a ton and the December yellow maize contract was R24 weaker at R2‚726 a ton.

The August wheat contract gained R5 to R3‚425 a ton‚ with the September wheat contract shedding R21 to R3‚437 a ton and the December wheat contract gaining R3 to R3‚452 a ton.

Meanwhile US grain and soy futures settled higher on Friday‚ led by wheat‚ as a weaker dollar fuelled buying of commodities. The dollar weakened after US nonfarm payrolls reported on Friday rose more than expected‚ sending traders into riskier assets such as commodities. A weaker dollar also usually benefits prices for US agricultural commodities because it makes exports cheaper for foreign buyers.

Wheat got an extra boost from Goldman Sachs saying in a research note on Friday that it saw increasing upside risks to wheat prices in the coming months. Dry weather in the former Soviet Union‚ Australia‚ India and Argentina could pare output in those regions more than currently expected‚ the bank said.

Wheat futures‚ which snapped a three-day slide‚ have mostly climbed for weeks. Front-month Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures hit a four-year closing high of US$9.4325 a bushel on July 20‚ jumping 55% in roughly a month. The rise mainly stemmed from a rally in corn prices‚ because more-expensive corn can boost demand for wheat as a substitute in animal feed. Corn soared to all-time records last month as the historic US drought battered the farm belt.

CBOT September wheat rose 26 1/4 cents‚ or 3.0%‚ to $8.91 1/4 a bushel. Kansas City Board of Trade September wheat rose 27 cents‚ or 3.1%‚ to $8.96 a bushel. MGEX September wheat rose 18 cents‚ or 1.9%‚ to $9.44 1/2 a bushel.

CBOT September corn rose 16 cents‚ or 2.0%‚ to $8.10 a bushel. September soybeans rose 12 1/4 cents‚ or 0.8%‚ to $16.35 3/4 a bushel. - I-Net Bridge