Reporting of the import and export of grain on cards in South Africa

The compulsory and timely disclosure and reporting of the import and export of grain and oil seed will relieve the type of price fluctuations on maize markets recently experienced during the drought.

That’s the hope of grain producer organisation, Grain SA, who applied for changes to the statutory measure which regulates the reporting of maize and wheat imports and exports.

The South African National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) is reviewing the suggestion, and invited concerned parties to comment before 7 April. The process follows a lengthy struggle in industry circles regarding the issue.

Current regulation stipulates that only actual imports and exports must be noted. Records of this must be supplied weekly to the Grain Information Service (SAGIS). This excludes reporting of planned imports and exports, when contracts are signed.

Grain SA believes the current situation leaves a gap in the South African grain information system. Earlier, stakeholders agreed to willingly report imports and exports to the NAMC. However, this process impacted negatively on the free market as reporting only takes place at the end of a marketing year, and not everyone provides the information.

Grain SA says the continuous reporting of contracts, as the marketing year takes its course, is crucial for the market to react. It is believed the new measure will enhance the functioning of the free market and allow government to make better policy decisions.

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