By Joanna Newman
IT has been a quiet week in the US maize market, with prices inching lower in recent days.
The Chicago December futures contract settled on Tuesday, 3 November at 216.75¢/bushel, down from 219.0¢ a week ago.
The anticipated announcement of US maize shipments to Russia has failed to materialise. With US elections over, there is little incentive for the US Government to rush through a deal to demonstrate its concern for Americas struggling farmers.
There are reports that US food aid negotiations with Russia are hitting some problems and this could cause further delays.
Back in America, the harvest is almost completed ahead of schedule. So far 83% of the crop has been gathered, compared with a five-year average of 68% at this time of the year.
The Loan Deficiency Payment (LDP) Government subsidies have enabled farmers to withhold most of their new-crop maize from the market for the time being. This has helped support short-term prices but will create an overhang of supply in the future.