File image: Reuters

Maize and wheat prices ended lower on Friday after a bit of profit taking over the last two sessions.

“We were down locally and traders are closing out positions ahead of the weekend. Traders do not want to have long open-positions over the weekend in case something happens in the US markets and then local traders cannot do anything about it‚” said Andries van der Walt‚ grain trader at Vrystaat Mielies in Potchefstroom.

“We have also seen some profit taking in the US markets over the last three or four sessions‚ with prices coming down. The current drought in the US is worse than the droughts they experienced in 1988 and in 1936‚” he added.

The near-dated August white maize contract was down R16 to R2‚700 a ton and the September white maize contract shed R24 to R2‚720 a ton. December white maize declined by R30 to R2‚783 a ton.

The near-dated August yellow maize contract was down R16 to R2‚710 a ton‚ while the September yellow maize contract was off R10 to R2‚732 a ton and the December yellow maize contract was R19 weaker at R2‚759 a ton.

The August wheat contract shed R15 to R3‚420 a ton‚ with the September wheat contract also shedding R15 to R3‚460 a ton and the December wheat contract dropping R17 to R3‚459 a ton.

Meanwhile US grain and soybean futures closed lower on Thursday‚ as traders continued to take profits on prior gains amid rains in the US Midwest and softer demand for corn.

Traders were taking a cautious approach after corn and soybean prices surged to record highs last month. Scattered showers passing through the farm belt this week were seen as beneficial to soy crops‚ while high corn prices were curbing domestic and export demand from buyers such as livestock producers‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Chicago Board of Trade August soybeans settled down 29 1/4 cents‚ or 1.7%‚ at US$16.53 a bushel‚ and November soybeans settled down 12 1/2 cents‚ or 0.8%‚ to $16.16 1/2.

CBOT September corn settled down 6 1/2 cents‚ or 0.8%‚ to $7.94 a bushel. CBOT December corn closed down 4 3/4 cents‚ or 0.6%‚ to $7.95 3/4. - I-Net Bridge