Namibia: Namib Mills Drops Prices

NAMIB Mills has slashed their wholesale price level on all of their maize meal products, including Top Score, by 8% since Monday.

The milling company said in a press release on Monday that it was necessary to cut the price as spend- ing has gone down and households debt levels are increasing.

Maize meal is a staple food in many Namibian households, and a reduction in its price is one that should be welcomed by the masses during this tough economic times, where consumption generally has been lean.

September's inflation figures released by the Namibia Statistics Agency show food and non-alco- holic beverages' annual inflation at 4,4% for the month, compared to 2,5% recorded in the same pe- riod last year. That indicates that despite annual inflation slowing, food prices remain on an unabated upward trend.

Overall annual inflation has been on the decline since the beginning of the year and recorded at 3,3% in September 2019, falling from 4,8% recorded last year at the end of September.

Namib Mills noted that the 8% price reduction on their maize meal products is a result of importing cheaper maize from other parts of the maize exporting countries, with harvests in Namibia depleted.

The milling company explained that the price of maize in Namibia is determined by a local price floor as a way of the government protecting the local maize farmers in ensuring that there is always a market for the industry as a way of promoting domestic consumption.

This implies that in the absence of the government intervention in the maize industry, the price of maize and its by-products would be cheaper.

However, the milling company stated that the intervention by the government in imposing a price floor is necessary to support local production in order to enhance the local economy.

"Namib Mills fully supports Namibian farmers, and we will always buy all local maize avail- able first, before importing the shortage required to be milled," the company said.

Namib Mills said due to the persistent droughts that have been experienced over the past seasons, the harvest of local white maize for the year was recorded at only 31 000 tonnes, which is a decline of about 46% when compared to the harvests of 2018, which stood at 56 000 tonnes.

The company said although Namibia requires about 120 000 tonnes of white maize for consumption, the lower harvests of 2019 will not lead to shortages, as the deficits can easily be supplemented by imports from South Africa and Zambia.

"Namib Mills has already passed lower maize prices onto local and regional customers, but we hereby wish to formally announce an 8% decrease on the list price of our maize meal products," the press release added.

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