Better weather drives US maize market lower

By Joanna Levin

FORECASTS of dry weather proved great for planting prospects, but bad news for prices. Expectations that good weather in the Eastern corn (maize) belt will enable farmers to press ahead with drilling unhindered by rain raised fears of oversupply and drove down the market.

Contracts for May futures closed at 245¢/bushel (147p/bushel) yesterday (Monday. 13 April), 20¢ lower than two weeks ago.

Average temperatures but normal-to-above-average precipitation is expected in the Western corn belt. In an already weak market, any signs of drier weather is likely to cause prices to tumble.

Disappointing weekly export shipments totalling 420,000 tonnes did nothing to boost traders hopes either. And the market was further depressed by a 6.6 million-tonne increase in the USDA estimate of last years carryover stocks, to almost 31m tonnes.

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