Not enough trains for S. African corn
South Africa, the biggest corn producer in Africa, missed out on a 150,000
metric-ton export order from Mexico because the state rail company didn't have
enough wagons to transport the grain, a traders association said.
The country last week shipped corn to Mexico for the first time in at least
four years, exporting 27,410 metric tons of white corn from the port of East
London on the southeast coast. Most of South Africa's corn exports go to other
countries in Africa.
"They were looking for 150,000
tons,'' John Gordon, according to executive director of the South African Cereal
and Oil Traders Association. However, the national rail company couldn't
provide enough trains, he added. South Africa's rail infrastructure has
attracted criticism from companies ranging from steelmakers to coal and iron ore
miners, who say that it's hindered their ability to meet their export
Yellow corn exports
Mexico is boosting corn imports to
try and bring down the prices of tortillas, a stable food in the country. On
Jan. 12, the country's Economy Minister, Eduardo Sojo, said it would import
650,000 tons of white corn, with 450,000 tons of that coming from the U.S.
Last week, South Africa also shipped 7,101 tons of white corn overland to
Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland and Mozambique, the Pretoria-based South
African Grain Information Service said. Meal made from white corn is a staple
food in the country.
South Africa also exported 666 tons of yellow corn
to Swaziland, Namibia and Lesotho. It didn't import any of the grain, which is
used mainly as an animal feed.
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