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Maize prices seen going up

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Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet) has described as temporal the prevailing stability in maize prices saying supply for the commodity may substantially dwindle within the first two months of next year, eventually forcing prices to go up.

Cisanet says vendors may exhaust their maize stocks in the shortest time possible due to comparatively low prices on offer, a development which is to influence the drop in market supply.

On average, a 50 kilogramme bag of maize is being sold at between K10,000 and K11,000 on the market, compared to a fixed price of K12,500by government grain trader, Admarc.

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The prices remain high compared to the case during the same period last year.

Cisanet Executive Director, Tamani Nkhono-Mvula, said in an interview that the country may not sustain the current prices for the staple commodity, premising his argument on depleted stocks being held by vendors.

“We don’t think the vendors will be able to sustain the maize supply come January and February.

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“This means that the maize price will not go down; if anything it will go up and the challenge is that people will not be able to buy and Admarc may then be the only supplier,” Nkhono-Mvula said.

He further said Admarc may not slash its maize prices as it still intends to recover debts used to purchase the commodity.

Mvula remained uncertain if the country will still have sufficient maize stock to run through the next harvest season, saying trends may have been influenced by market speculation.

“But based on the statement from government that there is enough stock, we are hoping that is true. But there is need for caution as we can have the commodity available but inaccessible to consumers because of exorbitant prices,” Mvula said.

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