In many parts of the world, corn is known as maize. It is considered the most important grain crop in the world with 525 million metric tonnes produced annually. The U.S. is the leading producer with almost 270 million metric tonnes followed by China producing more than 110 million metric tonnes per year. With so much acreage dedicated to corn, this adaptable grain has become a staple in the diets of many people around the world. Its uses include animal feed, corn syrup in processed foods and beverages, to the ears of corn and much more.
Despite the diverse uses for corn, it is still primarily used as livestock feed. Throughout the U.S., cattle, chicken and hog ranchers depend on corn to maintain and fatten their livestock. A small portion of corn is diverted into corn syrup, new plastics and alcohol, and corn is also diverted to produce ethanol to create a cleaner, less expensive fuel source.
Factors that can influence price include:
- A new form of corn has been introduced to fulfill Biofuel needs in the U.S.. Called tropical maize, this corn variety requires little nitrogen, unlike standard sweet corn, and stores 25% more sugar in the stalk because it does not produce any ears of corn. Tropical maize also has a short gestation period and can be easily rotated with standard corn or soybean crops without depleting the soil.
- Over half of the planted corn has been genetically modified to be more resistant to disease and herbicides.
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) produces several important reports on corn. Every year in the second half of March, its Prospective Plantings report is released, which details how much and which crops will be planted by farmers for the upcoming season.
- The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) added corn as one of its freely traded products, wreaking havoc on the Mexican economy because of the disparity between subsidies and farming sophistication.
Corn (CRN) Contract Details:
|Currency||Price per||Standard Contract Size||Pip Value / contract|
|USD cents||Bushel||5,000 Bushels||USD 0.5|
Trading hours: Corn trades daily Monday to Friday from 01:00 GMT and closes at 19:10 GMT. There is a daily break between 13:40 to 14:30. Spreads are usually higher during out-of-business hours.
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