Maize production in India is likely to touch the 25-million-tonne (MT) mark this year, as adequate monsoon rains trigger higher acreage across growing states. According to data available from the ministry of agriculture, the area under cultivation maize rose by 11 per cent to 82.24 lakh hectare at the beginning of October 2013, as against 74 lakh hectare in the corresponding period of last year.
Higher than normal rains in major growing states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are likely to further push the rabi acreage this fiscal. As per the first advance estimates by the ministry, the maize production is expected to be 17.8MT, compared to around 16MT, the fourth estimates for 2012-13.
“Maize production is likely to surpass all records this year. We expect a bumper crop, as the kharif production may have crossed 18MT by the time the ministry comes out with the second advance estimates, as first estimates are usually very conservative,” Raju Choksi, vice-president, agri-commodities, Anil Nutrients Ltd, said. He added that last year's rabi production stood at around 6.25MT despite bad monsoon, and so this year's rabi production too is likely to be higher.
“Maize prices have been firm for the last couple of months, due to a scarce supply in the market. With the first kharif crop likely to arrive in the markets next fortnight, the prices are expected to fall by seven to 10 per cent,” Choksi said. The prices would also be impacted because of the higher global supply.
“The global supply of maize is likely to rise following record crop in Argentina, Brazil and the Black Sea Region; which are the major exporters to the world markets. India is currently outpriced in the international markets, as Indian corn is being offered at $270-275 per MT FOB Kakinada/Vizag, compared to corn of Ukrainian origin, which is being sold around $235 per MT CNF South Korea,” Choksi informed.
Maize has been trading in the range of Rs 1,500-1,600 per quintal across major spot markets, much above the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,175 per quintal, which was fixed the by government last year. This year, government has fixed an MSP of Rs 1,310 per quintal, which is higher than last year's MSP by about 11 per cent.