Demand worries sink US maize price deeper

By Joanna Levin

US maize prices have suffered another week of heavy losses, pressured by the prospect of an excellent harvest and general concern surrounding the global economy.

Producers and traders are concerned that corn demand will slow if the world slides into recession, damaging US maize exports. This has been partly offset by a weak US dollar which makes US maize exports more competitive

According to the USDA August report, American farmers will achieve a high yield of 130 bushels/acre this year resulting in a near record crop. Opinions are mixed as to whether these government estimates will be revised up or down this month depending on the health of the growing crop.

The market will be sensitive to weather conditions over the next few weeks. 68% of the maize crop is predicted to be good to excellent, 22% fair and 10% poor to very poor.

Although futures prices crept up Tuesday 1 September, most analysts agree that the maize market remains in a downward trend. The Chicago December futures contract closed on Tuesday 1 September at 203.0/bushel, up 3.5 from the previous day but down from around 215/bushel a week earlier and 270 in late June.

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