Maize (corn) prices have gained in the last few weeks by about 15 per cent.

Corn plants in the US have been affected by the worst drought in the last five decades. This has led to a rise in corn futures in the global market.

Corn for delivery in December was quoted at $8.042 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday. A research firm has cut the US crop to 9.86 billion bushels, 30 per cent lower than initial estimates.

The rise in global prices has, in turn, led to demand for Indian corn from nearby destinations such as South-East Asia, Far-Eastern nations and the Gulf.

Even if enquiries have not fully realised into contracts, the commodity has gained just on trade sentiments.

Back home, with the India Meteorological Department forecasting a 15-per-cent-deficient monsoon, the market sentiment has received further boost. Though maize is less water-intensive crop compared to rice, the lower water storage level and poor soil moisture are causes for concern.

Thus, prices have been gaining on fears of a lower crop and short supply. Fears of delay in arrival of kharif maize is also playing on the minds of market players.

In the spot market at Davengare in Karnataka, maize was quoted at Rs 1,387.50 a quintal on Friday.

On the National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange, maize for August delivery ended up at Rs 1,491, while September contracts closed at Rs 1,539.

October finished at Rs 1,549 and November at Rs 1,516.

(This article was published on August 3, 2012)
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