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AgriSA denies 'collusion' is behind skyrocketing maize prices

AgriSA's Omri van Zyl says production is currently under serious threat due to the devastating drought.

Maize. Picture: AFP.
drought,SA drought,maize,SA maize shortage,maize price,South Africa to import maize
Local Business

JOHANNESBURG – AgriSA says there's nothing sinister about the escalation of maize prices in the country, saying the hike is the result of the worst drought to hit South Africa in decades.
 
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has called for competition authorities to probe the increase in maize prices, saying they're being manipulated by traders.
 
Grain SA has also warned that only 50 percent of the land ordinarily used for cultivation has been underutilised due to the shortage of water.

maize table

AgriSA’s Omri van Zyl says production is currently under serious threat due to the devastating drought.
 
He also says the falling rand is not making it any easier on food prices.
 
“We are probably looking at a 20 to 30 percent food price escalation over the next year.” 
 
Van Zyl says price hikes are based on market demand.
 
“At the moment we are worried about how to get more maize into the country from October onwards.”
 
While Cosatu has called for an investigation into the increase of maize prices in the country AgriSA says its focus is on food security and affordability.

#SADROUGHT: ONLY 50% OF LAND USED FOR MAIZE BEING UTILISED

Grain SA warned that only 50 percent of the land ordinarily used for maize cultivation in South Africa has been utilised due to the worst drought in decades. 

It said it's now too late for heavy rains to improve the situation. 

Grain SA estimated that maize imports will range between five and six million tons this year at a cost of between R17 billion and R20 billion.

LISTEN: Economist at Grain SA Wandile Sihlobo about how the drought is set to affect food and meat prices in SA.


Due to the falling rand and low production the price of maize has also increased.

Grain SA economist Wandile Sihlobo said this will be passed on to consumers.

“About 50 percent will actually be transferred directly to some of the retail products like maize meal.”

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)


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