Logistics in place for SA to ex­port 4.1m tons of maize

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS NEWS - Joseph Booy­sen

SOUTH Africa has suf­fi­cient in­fra­struc­ture in place to han­dle the up­com­ing crop of 4.1 mil­lions tons of to­tal maize avail­able for ex­port.

This is ac­cord­ing to Conce Moraba, an agri­cul­tural econ­o­mist at Absa and Absa Re­tail and Busi­ness Bank.

Moraba said in­dus­try par­tic­i­pants in the ex­port pro­gramme say that the Dur­ban and East Lon­don port fa­cil­i­ties cou­pled with rail­ways and roads should be able to han­dle the full en­vis­aged crop.

She said the lo­cal white and yel­low maize prices were ex­pected to drop over the next few months as the crop gets har­vested.

“We ex­pect to ex­port 2 million tons of the ex­portable sur­plus out of 4.2 million tons this year, the re­main­ing 2.2 million tons will be stored and car­ried over the next mar­ket­ing year (May/ Apr 2018/19). Con­se­quently, maize prices will re­main un­der pres­sure near ex­port par­ity price lev­els.”

She said chal­lenges fac­ing the logistics of the crop in­cluded the in­creased competition for rail­way us­age be­tween the coal in­dus­try and agri­cul­ture in the Mpumalanga re­gion, in­land si­los might need to be avail­able to stay open “24/7” to elim­i­nate the pos­si­ble bot­tle­necks that might arise dur­ing week­days and South Africa still had to fi­nalise more ex­port mar­kets.

“South Korea and Tai­wan have in­di­cated they’ll be im­port­ing maize from SA. We need pref­er­en­tial mar­ket ac­cess to the po­ten­tial ex­port coun­tries,” Moraba said.

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