Maize prices move up in India; stay weak in the US on higher crop forecast for 2012

Maize prices in India were up by 2% on pan India average to Rs.11518 per MT. Prices are higher than last year by 15.8%. Prices in some of the markets were lower like in Andhra Pradesh down 0.42% to Rs.10307 per MT; Karnataka down 1.66% to Rs.10764 per MT and Maharashtra down 6.93% to Rs.11461 per MT. In other markets prices were up at the market yard level. Gujarat up 6.58% to Rs.12465 per Mt; Madhya Pradesh up 5.33% to Rs.11674 per MT; Rajasthan up 1.05% to Rs.12458 per MT; Tamil nadu up 2.48% to Rs.11605 per MT and Uttar Pradesh up 2.75% to Rs.11888 per MT.

The NCDEX maize futures closed higher. Mar up 0.38% to Rs.11750 per MT; Apr up 0.33% to Rs.12030 per MT; May up 0.53% to Rs.12290 per MT and Jun up 0.44% to Rs.12480 per MT. Spot prices in some of the key markets were down like in Nizamabad down by 0.32% to Rs.11588 per Mt and also in Davangere by 0.14% to Rs.11516 per MT. Prices were stable in Karimnagar at Rs.11425 per MT, but were down in Sangli by 0.86% to Rs.12094 per MT.

Export from India is still open, but some news reports do indicate that there has been a quality issue with some consignments of maize to some destinations and this could be one of the reasons for a prices to remain soft for some time. The new crop will start to arrive some time in late march from Bihar.

Pearl Millet prices were up by 2.6% last week to Rs.10654 per MT. Prices were higher than last year by 10.5%, but lower than maize by 8.1% at the market yard.

Sorghum prices were down by 5.1% to Rs.15594 per MT, 11.5% higher than last year and also 26.1% higher than maize. Food grade sorghum prices are touch a all time high of Rs.28000 per MT at the market yard and retail prices are as high at Rs.35/kg in parts of Maharashtra.

Barley prices were down this week in open market by 2.4% to Rs.10607 per MT and also lower than last year by 12.7%. On NCDEX, however did show an upward trend. Feb contract ended on Feb 20 at Rs.12504 per MT, 5.94% higher than last week. Apr was up 6.08% to Rs.13780 per MT, may up 7.4% to Rs.13965 per MT and Jun up 8.34% to Rs.14145 per Mt. Spot prices in Jaipur were up 0.2% to Rs.12250 per MT   

Corn prices remained weak throughout the week. Tuesday, the mar contract close lower than Friday at $247.78 and while there was some upward movement, it failed to reach the last friday prices and closed at $251.19 per MT, 0.15% lower than last week’s close. may contract was down 0.19% to $253.52 per MT and Jul down 0.29% to $254.47 per MT. USDA came out with the report indicating that US farmers will plant 94 million acres (38 million hectares) of corn, about 2 million acres more than last year and the largest area since 1944 and could produce 360-362 MMT of corn. The production though will largely depend on the weather conditions and the yields.

Following stable prices the FOB rates did not change much and were indicated at $280-274 per MT (US Gulf) and $299-294 per MT (PNW). DDGS prices remained stable on FOB basis at $270-264 per MT (Mar-May). Delivered prices ranges from $316-320 per MT for China and Vierman.

Amit Sachdev, India Representative, U S Grains Council* E mail: usgcindia@gmail.com  

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