News in US maize markets continues to be the driver of support in grain market sentiment this week.

Friday’s USDA supply and demand report cut maize stocks to their lowest levels in seven years due to a forecast increase in consumption and increased exports.

The UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reports that this caused maize futures to rally to an almost eight-year high.

China’s ministry of agriculture raised its maize import forecast for the 2020/21 season to more than double the previous forecast.

Imports are now expected to total 22 million tonnes (Mt), up from 10Mt last month.

However, despite this large jump, a report released alongside this increase said that supply and demand should stay relatively balanced in the short term and so prices are unlikely to be affected.

Bearish wheat market

However, an expected rise in Russian production for harvest 2021 means it is a bearish outlook for wheat.

US wheat futures rallied on Thursday, as dryness in the north of the US continues to cause concern ahead of spring wheat plantings.

But Russia’s agricultural consultancy Sovecon increased its Russian wheat production for harvest 2021 to 80.7Mt.

This was an increase of 1.4Mt from the previous estimate and was down to improving conditions in the south of the country.