The global maize market has witnessed a notable surge in prices and the reasons are not confined to India alone. The prevailing scarcity in supply is evident both domestically and internationally, instigating concerns over the sustained escalation of maize prices.
Within the poultry sector, there is a mounting apprehension regarding the rates and scarcity of maize. Presently, maize is being traded at prices exceeding the Minimum Support Price (MSP) by 400 to 500 rupees per quintal. The Poultry Association, i.e Poultry Federation of India, has consistently communicated its concerns to the central government, urging intervention and proposing strategies to mitigate the surge in maize prices. Regrettably, Mr. Parsottam Rupala, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy, has hinted at the absence of immediate relief.
Businesses aligned with the poultry sector are closely monitoring the anticipated maize crop during the Rabi season, expecting a shift in rates upon its arrival in April. However, agricultural experts contend that the Rabi season maize crop may not be substantial enough to exert a significant influence on market rates.
Domestic Maize Scenario (India)
Agricultural experts estimate the cultivated area for maize during the Rabi season in India is to be 19.17 lakh hectares. By January of the crop year 2022-23, sowing had already occurred in 19.95 hectares, surpassing the previous crop year by 3.48 lakh hectares. Despite a 1.84% annual increase in maize production, market prices have persistently exceeded MSP in the open market.
Considering the Kharif season, maize production has witnessed an uptick. As per government estimates released in October, maize production is projected to reach around 224.82 lakh metric tons, reflecting an increase of approximately 11 lakh tons. The maize production area has also expanded according to these estimates. Insiders in the market report a 20% surge in maize prices compared to MSP. Recent days have witnessed a ₹35 per quintal increase in maize prices. Across different states, prices in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra have breached ₹2700 per quintal, reaching even higher levels in certain regions. In the Mumbai market, maize prices have soared to ₹4000 per quintal.
Global Maize Scenario
According to a report from the United States Department of Agriculture, global maize production for 2022-23 is anticipated to decline by 4.5%, reaching 1161.86 million metric tons. The Russia-Ukraine conflict is expected to impact maize production in Ukraine, leading to reduced yields and acreage. Adverse weather conditions in key producing regions like Poltava, Sumy, and Cherkasy have caused delays in crop growth.
Russia is also poised for lower maize production. In the European Union, Ukraine, and the United States, maize production is projected to decrease by 23.6%, 35.9%, and 7.6%, respectively, compared to the previous year. This global scenario is contributing to the elevated maize prices in India.