By Joanna Levin
US maize prices have continued to drift lower in reaction to better weather.
The latest National Weather Service 6-10 day forecast shows ideal growing conditions in the maize belt.
Producers are reporting that pollination is well advanced and only an unexpected bout of extremely hot, dry weather could hurt the crop now.
The above-average rate of crop development has helped to drive futures prices to near contract lows.
In Chicago, the September futures contract closed on Tuesday (21 July) at 230.25¢/bushel, down 2¢ from Monday July 20th and 3.25¢ lower on the week.
With export demand expected to decline and good harvests likely in other major maize producing regions, the outlook for US maize prices looks bearish.
Just two weeks ago, the US Department of Agriculture raised its estimate of US carry-over maize stocks from the 1997-98 season to 1.434 billion bushels, up from previous estimates of 1.259bn bushels.