ZIMBABWE – The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has secured a new continuous grain supply and funding deal with a South African based trade financier, Goldstone International.

The initial deal is expected to see the South African based supplier export 120 000 tonnes of grain to Zambia, with prospects of further engagements in the future, reports 263Chat Business

To cement the deal, Goldstone has delivered a sizeable quantity of wheat stationed at Blue Ribbon Industries in Msasa, which is set to be distributed to local millers.

“The milling industry is now geared for the festive season where we experience high demand for confectioneries, bread and other products that are made from flour,” GMAZ chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara said.

“RBZ working with Goldstone International, a finance house that structures trade has put in place an arrangement for us to have continuous supplies of wheat.

“In the past week we have received sizeable quantities of wheat and we continue to do so,” he added.

The deal comes as a boost to Zimbabwe, which has experienced intermittent wheat supplies owed to foreign currency challenges subsequently affecting manufacturing of flour made products such as bread and other confectioneries.

Under the deal, Goldstone International will come up with the financing structure and supply the grain into the country.

“The financier will help us in getting finance instruments; here we are talking about letters of credit. Our local banks have not been able to meet the features on the letters of credit which our suppliers have been requesting,” added Musarara.

The 120 000 tonnes consignment is expected to cover the country’s wheat requirements of about 110 000 tonnes for the remaining part of the year.

The development will see the country start to receive wheat into bond, thus directly into its local warehouse where the wheat will then be released to millers upon payment.

Lately, Zimbabwe has been partly paying suppliers first to deliver grain at the port in Beira and then complete the payment for it to be released into the country as suppliers didn’t have confidence in the country’s capacity to pay.

The Central Bank has also facilitated release of wheat in excess of 20 000 tonnes that was held up in Beira for non-payment.