22 May 2018
The long-awaited amendment to the statutory measure for the reporting of maize imports and exports, which Grain SA applied for, has been published in the Government Gazette on 18 May 2018 by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Maize importers and exports reported physical imports and exports which occurred, to the South African Grain Information Service (SAGIS). This amendment now mandates additional reporting on planned maize imports and/or exports or on maize contracts already prepared for transactions to occur.
The parties concerned will be required to submit weekly returns to SAGIS, stating the necessary information regarding the import or export of maize, which will declare these figures on a weekly basis. Imports and/or exports must be reported to SAGIS eight weeks prior to the physical receipt (imports)/shipping (exports) thereof. The importers and exporters must also indicate in the weekly returns if there are any contracts for import or export purposes that have been washed out and will therefore no longer take place. However, this weekly reporting will still indicate the balance of contracts, prepared for import or export purposes.
Maize supply and demand are among the most important factors affecting local maize prices as well as maize futures price. However, the free market system can only function optimally if all market players have access to the same information, especially regarding aspects affecting supply and demand. The amendment of the statutory measure that obliges importers and exporters of maize to report the necessary information on import- and export contracts will release this information to the market, giving all market role players the opportunity to make the necessary informed and timeous marketing decisions.
Grain SA believes that this information will be of great value to producers as they will have timeous access to the same information as the rest of the market, and will prove valuable in their decision-making and marketing of their maize. This is contrary to the current system where information first enters the market when the physical grain has already been in- or exported. SAGIS is currently in the process of developing a new system to accommodate this information and to publish it as accurately as possible. The wheat industry has already approved a similar request which has been directed to the Minister, and of which the market will be notified when it is approved.