Maize prices move up waiting for new crop; International prices give support

Maize prices in India on average moved up by 4.3% this week to Rs.11400 per MT. Prices were higher than last year by 12.4%. Mixed bag prices in various markets. Prices were up in few markets – Andhra Pradesh by 2.64% to Rs.10397 per MT; Madhya Pradesh by 0.30% to Rs.11448 per MT and Uttar Pradesh by 3.44% to Rs.11810 per MT. Prices were down in Gujarat by 2.08% to Rs.12641 per MT; Karnataka by 0.83% to Rs.10653 per MT; Maharashtra by 0.94% to Rs.11265 per MT; Rajasthan by 0.54% to Rs.12525 per MT and Tamil nadu by 1.90% to Rs.11273 per MT. 

Prices were also indicated higher in the futures market (NCDEX), for the five contracts. Mar up 2.31% to Rs.11520 per MT; Apr up 3.63% to Rs.11990% per MT; May up 2.59% to Rs.12270 per MT; Jun up 2.37% to Rs.12520 per MT and July up by 4.49% to Rs.12780 per MT. Spot prices howerever were stable in Nizamabad at Rs.11378 per MT and down in Davangere by 0.59% to Rs.11283 per MT. Prices were indicated higher in Karimnagar by 1.11% to Rs.11850 per MT and also in Sangli by 0.77% to Rs.11919 per MT.

In the US, on the CBOT, Mar contract closed on Mar 14 up 6.9% to $275.33 per MT. May contract was up 4.34% to $264.94 per MT; Jul up 4.07% to $263.84 per MT. Spet corn was down 7.36% to $238.25 per MT. Reasons for the increase could be many, but the few being reported include speculation that China would be in the market soon and that the corn prices in China are going up. In addition, while the reports do indicate a higher area under corn this year, the Mar 30 planting report will be crucial. But before that there is weather. It has been an unusually warn winter this time, which has resulted in higher temperatures now. There is less soil moisture and farmers may need to plant early, using whatever available moisture for germination. This could laos mean lower yields. Some experts believe US corn crop productivity would be on trendline, which would make for higher production, while some believe the productivity will be down, as in 2002, when the winter was mild.

The FOB prices were up slightly on higher futures prices. Prices on US Gulf were indicated at $292 – 289 per MT for the period Mar – July. PNW prices were $313 – 308 per MT. DDGS prices on FOB basis were also up as there is demand from the International market as Soybean Meal prices continue to move up due to situation in Argentina and Brazil. Markets report that the DDGS prices will remain strong as some of the ethanol plants may be closing for maintenance.  On FOB basis (US Gulf), DDGS price was indicated at $283-280 per MT for the period Apr – Jun and PNW $287 per MT. Prices to Vietnam were indicated at $328 per MT and to China $321 per MT. Corn Gluten Meal prices have also been increasing steadily on the back on higher corn prices and were indicated at $590 per MT.  

Freight rates have not changed much. Bench mark, US Gulf – Japan was indicated at $49 per MT and PNW Japan at $29 per MT. US Gulf to China was indicated at $48 per MT and PNW – China at $28 per MT.  Argentina/Brazil to China freight was indicated at $41-47 per MT depending on the load.

Pearl Millet prices in the India were down by 5.2% to Rs.10436 per MT. Prices remained higher than last year by 7.9% and lwoer than maize by 9.2%.

Sorghum prices were up by 6.7% this week to Rs.16773 per MT, higher than last year by 16.5% and also higher than maize by 32%. In the US sorghum prices were indicated at $293 per MT, just $1 higher than maize on FOB basis.

Barley prices in India were up by 3.9% to Rs.12242 per MT on average, higher that last year by 11.3%. On futures though the three contracts were down. Apr down 2.83% to Rs.14900 per MT; may down 1.99% to Rs.15200 per MT and Jun down 0.89% to Rs.15545 per MT. Spot prices in Jaipur were reported at Rs.12500 per MT, 3.12% lower than last week. Feed barley prices in US were reported at $305 per MT on FOB basis. Open malting barley prices at select elevators (delivered at the production centre) was indicated between $185 – 26 per MT for 2 row or 6 row barley. At Minneapolis, malting barley was indicated at $293 per MT.

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

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