Maize prices stable in India; US corn prices up; US DDGS even with slightly higher prices remains a competitive feed ingredient

Maize prices in India remain stable, buying is slow, as trade and end users wait for the new crop in Rabi (To be harvested in Mar-Apr-May, in parts of North East, South India). Overall area under maize in India for Rabi sowing is estimated at 1.67 mill hac against 1.626 mill hac last year. It is also higher than the normal area under Maize (1.58 mill hac). Expecting a good Rabi crop of maize this season is likely to put pressure on prices. Spot price of maize in South India (erode) was indicated t Rs.13720/MT and delivered to the feed mills at Rs.14200/MT. The maize is delivered to North Indian feed millers at Rs.14200/MT, not much difference. April Rabi futures dropped 4.16% to Rs.11165/MT and May Rabi too dropped by 1.41% to Rs.11150/MT on Feb 02, 2018.

US corn prices on CBOT moved up this week on news of dry weather in Argentina and that the crop will be less. By the end of the week, there was rain, but that did not hamper the market trend, which continued to move up. March contract up 1.40% to $142.28/MT; May up 1.21% to $145.42/MT and Jul; up 1.07% to $148.50/MT. This did aid FOB prices, which were indicated at $165/MT (US Gulf) and $177/MT (PMW). Argentine corn was priced at $170/MT; Brazil at $164/MT and Black Sea corn at $174/MT (All on FOB basis, at respective ports).

DDGS prices remained stable or downward on FOB basis and were indicated at $204/MT (FOB USGC). Rail delivered to PNW was $227/MT (The above mentioned FOB prices are in bulk). In the region March delivery prices were up slightly, Vietnam $246/MT; China $235/MT; Chittagong $267/MT and Myanmar $261/MT (The prices to destinations are in Containers).

Other protein prices – corn co-product prices (CGM) were up and were indicated at $595/MT. US SBM at $387/MT and future prices expected to drop to $377/MT. Argentine SBM (47%) at $370/MT and Brazilian SBM at $353/MT. Indian SBM is being delivered to the feed manufacturers at Rs.32500/MT (Approximately $504/MT), per percent protein valve (45% protein) at Rs.722. US DDGS if allowed will be reach the feed manufacturers at $311/MT (Rs.20055), for 28% protein. Per % protein valued at par with SBM, but with additional energy via 6-7% fat, which makes it a ingredient worth looking into and including in the livestock rations.

Ethanol futures moved up this week, Feb 0.387/Lit, up 7.48%; Mar 0.3817/lit, up 4.57%; Apr 0.3844, up 3.34%; May 0.3868, up 2.60 and Jun 0.3881, up 2.16%. The prices were up as ethanol production fell this week and there is a possibility that ethanol production will be coming back on stream, which will stabilize prices of ethanol as well as co-products (DDGS) a bit.

Amit Sachdev, Serving Agriculture and Livestock in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka * E Mail: asachdev@grains.org

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