Benefits of falling maize price 'will take time' to reach consumers

Recent rainfall suggests the country could possibly harvest more than double the amount of maize in the upcoming season.

FILE: Maize. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Despite expectations of a drop in the price of maize after February, consumers won't reap the benefits until later this year.

That's the view of agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo.

Food prices have soared due to the drought, but recent rainfall suggests the country could possibly harvest more than double the amount of maize in the upcoming season compared to the previous one.

Sihlobo, of the Agricultural Business Chamber, says the benefits of a falling maize price will take some time to reach consumers.

“The prices are coming down but it will take some time for that to filter through, like four months for some food products.”

He says that the country could be switching back to being a net exporter of maize this year.

Sihlobo adds if the rainfall lasts until February, farmers can expect a harvest of as much as 13 million tonnes.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)