Maize import parity price US$350/tonne
MAIZE importations from Mexico have seen millers in Zimbabwe landing the maize at US$350 per tonne.
With complications emanating from the imports from Zambia, were millers were landing the grain at US$240 per tonne, the Mexico imports are expected to increase the price of mealie meal on the market.
Importing grain from Mexico would cost millers between US$320 and US$350 per tonne to land the grain in Zimbabwe.
The maize producer price in Zimbabwe at the Grain Marketing Board is pegged at US$390 per tonne, but the institution has been battling to pay for maize deliveries over the years. However, private millers have been buying grain at US$280 to US$300 per tonne from farmers.
Other millers would buy for US$200 to US$230 per tonne.
“Millers are managing to source the grain from Mexico but there is a possibility of an increase on food prices,” agricultural economist peter Gambara said.
“The government gave import permits to grain millers to import as much as they could from Zambia, but two challenges arose. The relevant authorities could not facilitate a longer opening of the Chirundu Border Post to enable the trucks to be cleared 24/7. Secondly, after the Zambian Government realised that 2015/16 season was going to be a drought year, they stopped exports from their government controlled agency. Those wishing to export were now supposed to go into the rural areas and farms to look for the maize. That was too cumbersome as it would take ages to get the volumes required and the Zimbabwean millers simply abandoned that market and turned to Mexico,” he added.
Zambian Farmers’ Union warning of a 30 percent tumble in Zambia’s harvest this year from the 2,6m tonnes produced last year which was itself a drought-reduced crop.
Like any other country in southern Africa, faces record imports of wheat, as well as of maize, as it seeks to underpin food supplies in the face of one of the worst droughts on record that started in 2015.
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