Madeleine van Niekerk

Maize futures closed strongly higher on Friday due to the weaker rand‚ higher Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT) prices and no rain forecast until next week.

Wheat also closed higher due to the weak local currency and higher Chicago prices‚ but did not gain as much as maize.

“Maize prices have been boosted by the much weaker rand that has come down from R8.84 to the dollar yesterday to R9.02 at the moment. The Chicago Board of Trade figures were also higher due to short covering on the maize contracts‚” Benjamin Swanepoel‚ trader at Trademar Futures said.

“Hardly any rain is expected until next Friday and there are concerns that the crop estimates committee will revise their production forecasts downwards‚” he added.

The white maize contract for March 2013 delivery added R63 to R2‚201 per ton‚ the white maize contract for July 2013 gained R78 to R2‚190 per ton and the white maize contract for September 2013 was up R74.60 to R2‚223.60.

The yellow maize contract for March 2013 gained R71 to R2‚175 per ton‚ the July 2013 yellow maize contract added R80 to R2‚159 per ton and the September 2013 yellow maize contract gained R59 to R2‚170 per ton.

The wheat contract for March 2013 rose R56 to R3‚415per ton and July 2013 wheat added R73 to R3‚485 per ton.

Corn futures in the US rose on a lack of announced delivery intentions‚ reflecting tight supplies. Dow Jones Newswires reported. March corn rose 10 cents‚ or 1.4%‚ to $7.19 1/2 a bushel.

Wheat futures also rose on hopes for improved US export demand‚ amid an uptick in world export business for the grain.

CBoT March wheat rose 3 1/2 cents‚ or 0.5%‚ to $7.07 3/4 a bushel. KCBT March wheat rose 12 3/4 cents‚ or 1.7%‚ to $7.47 a bushel. MGEX March wheat rose 12 1/2 cents‚ or 1.6%‚ to $7.99 3/4 a bushel.