File image: Reuters

South African maize contracts closed the Friday session mostly lower due to a firmer rand and slightly lower Chicago Board of Trade prices‚ while wheat closed higher on stronger Chicago wheat prices and expectations of tighter worldwide wheat supply.

The December 2012 and March 2013 white maize contracts closed slightly lower‚ however the white maize July 2013 contract closed a tad higher.

“I reckon traders are starting to talk about that not enough rain is falling in the maize growing areas such as the North West and the Free State and that is why the white maize July 2013 contract closed slightly higher. There is a bit of concern about rainfall‚ but there is however ample time still to plant maize‚” a local trader said.

“There is bullish sentiment in the wheat market due to talk about Brazilian quality of wheat that will not be so good because they had too much rain‚ and that is why our local wheat market closed higher‚” he added.

Traders worldwide are awaiting the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report that will be released on Friday afternoon that will reveal world demand and supply figures for all agricultural commodities.

Expectations are for wheat stocks to be down because of too much rain in South America and drought in Eastern Europe‚ while world maize production is expected to be slightly lower to unchanged.

Locally white maize for December delivery‚ the most active contract on the South African Futures Exchange‚ dipped R10.00 to close at R2‚466.00 a ton. The white maize July 2013 contract closed R2.00 higher at R2‚284.

Meal made from the grain is SA’s staple food.

Yellow maize for December delivery‚ the most active contract for yellow maize‚ shed R14 to close at R2‚509 a ton. The grain is used mainly as animal feed in SA.

Wheat for December delivery added R32.00 to close at R3‚753.

Meanwhile US wheat futures rose on Thursday amid expectations for the US Department of Agriculture to tighten supply forecasts‚ Dow Jones Newswires reported.

December wheat futures ended up 8 1/2 cents‚ or 1%‚ to $9.02 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.

World wheat supplies are tightening up‚ amid production woes in the Southern Hemisphere‚ especially Australia and Argentina.

Corn futures hovered near unchanged throughout the session. CBOT December corn finished down 3 cents‚ or 0.4%‚ to $7.41 1/4. - I-Net Bridge