By Joanna Levin
BETTTER maize prices on the American market appear to be limited by expectations of a good spring crop and greater global competition for US exports.
The western maize belt continues to enjoy excellent planting conditions and planting is on schedule with 39% of the crop in the ground, compared with 46% a year ago and a five-year average of 30%.
On the international market, China is exporting increasing quantities of corn, albeit of poor quality.
Over last week, the contract had managed to gain 2.75¢/bushel to $2.483/bushel on Friday (8 May). But this rally proved short-lived and the Chicago July futures contract dropped sharply on Monday (11 May) by 7.5¢/bushel to settle at $2.408/bushel when new forecasts suggested drier weather conditions in the eastern corn belt.
The market remains very weather-sensitive. Any forecasts of above-average precipitation could indicate planting delays in coming weeks, which could support prices.