Maize prices move lower in India on a good April harvest; Prices move up in US as of now, low for sept and dec contracts on the back of higher production estimates

Maize prices in India slid lower on the back of a good rabi (April) harvest in key states of Bihar, Tamil nadu, Parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. There will also be some stocks that will also be available in Uttar Pradesh. Prices on Pan India basis averaged Rs.11292 per MT, 1.3% lower than last week. However, prices were higher than last year by 4.7%. While in some states, prices were reported to be little higher like in Andhra Pradesh, where prices were up by 3.3% to Rs.10667 per MT, Gujarat up by 2.23%to Rs.12170 per MT, Karnataka up by 2.86% to Rs.10810 per MT and Maharashtra up by 1.03% to Rs.11034 per MT. Prices on other states were down like in Madhya Pradesh down by 1.39% to Rs.11092 per MT, Rajasthan down by 5.23%to Rs.11953 per MT; Tamil nadu down by 1.80%to Rs.11532 per MT and Uttar Pradesh down by 1.34% to Rs.12031 per MT. Reports from Bihar indicate the prices to be in the range of Rs.9300 – 9500 per MT (lower than the MSP) in the open market.

The prices slid lower for the four contracts on NCDEX. May down 0.25% to Rs.11690 per MT; Jun down 0.41%to Rs.12010 per MT; July down 0.24% to Rs.12390 per MT and Aug down 0.39% to Rs.12620 per MT. Spot prices in the key markets were also down. Nizamabad down 3/77% to Rs.11215 per MT; Davangere down 0.33% to Rs.11312 per MT; Karimnagar down 6.73% to Rs.11133 per MT; and sangli down 0.88% to Rs.11944 per MT.

The week started with the corn prices on CBOT moving up on report of surging exports and the day ended at $259.90 per MT. By mid week though the prices were down to $252.82 per MT for the May contract due to reports of increased pace of corn planting. By the end of the week May contract closed at $260.69 per MT, 1.40% against last week close. Jul contract closed at $244.16 per MT, down 0.82% and Sept down 2.86% to $210.70. Dec contract was at $206.42 per MT, this for the new crop that will be harvested in Sept/Oct 2012.  As of last week, the planting was 53% against 5 years average of 27% and last years’s 12%. As per USDA report 15 percent of the plants have emerged as against 6% last year. There are estimates of a corn crop that could be anywhere between 340 – 358 MMT depending on the yield and harvested acres and this would be the highest corn crop ever and is likely  to bring down the prices.  

Pearl Millet (Bajra) prices were up by 1.4% to Rs.11610 per MT, higher than last year by 10.2%. The prices are higher than 2.7% against maize.

Grain sorghum (Jowar)  prices were also higher than last week by 3.9% to Rs.15039 per Mt. Prices remain higher than last year by 24.9%.

Barley prices moved up by 3% on an average to Rs.12726 per MT and were higher than last year by 7.7%. As the stock have started arriving in the market the prices on NCDEX for the four contracts have slid lower. May down 4.05% to Rs.15630 per MT; Jun down 4.16% to Rs.15995 per MT; Jul down 3.65%to Rs.16330 per MT and Aug down 4.62%to Rs.16500 per MT. Spot prices at Jaipur were indicated at Rs.15250 per MT, down 0.52% against last week. In the US Barley prices was indicated at $305 per MT on FOB basis and malting barley was indicated at $250-270 at Idaho falls and $295 at Minneapolis.

The slight correction in corn prices was reflected in the FOB prices as well and the prices on US Gulf were indicated at $283-267 per MT for the period May-Aug 2012. Prices at PNW were indicated at $303-276 per MT. The corresponding freight prices slid little lower as well and the benchmark US Gulf-Japan benchmark freight was indicated at $52 per MT and PNW-Japan at $29 per MT. US Gulf to China freight was indicated at $50.50 per MT and PNW-China at $26.50 per MT. Argentina/Brazil-China was indicated at $45-48 per MT.

Protein prices continued to go up, specially soybean meal and other protein prices also indicated an increase. Corn gluten prices on FOB basis were indicated at $680-690 per MT. DDGS prices also firmed up for the next 3 months delivery and on FOB basis (US Gulf) were indicated at $282-279 per MT (may – July). Rail delivered DDGS to PMW was indicated at $287-282 (for the same period). CNF Vietnam was indicated at $338-331 per MT and CNF China was indicated at $331-324 per MT.

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

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