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Food prices may soar

Maize and Wheat Millers Association of Botswana, Nkosi Mwaba

Dry weather conditions in South Africa are likely to affect maize prices and this will potentially push for high food prices in Botswana. Botswana millers import most of their maize from South Africa.


According to the chairman of the Maize and Wheat Millers Association of Botswana, Nkosi Mwaba, Hot and Dry weather conditions in South Africa have caused a significant impact on the availability of white maize crop.  


“Furthermore, the irrigated maize produce which makes up almost 20% of the crop has also being affected by power cuts.  This may result in South Africa having to import maize,” he said.


Mwaba said these concerns have seen corn futures spiking on the Johannesburg Safex (South African Futures Exchange).


At some stage there were concerns that a quarter of South Africa's maize crop could be ruined, as extreme heat and dry conditions sweep through its corn-producing regions.


Reports from South Africa indicates that Africa's biggest grain producer planted 2.656 million hectares for the 2015 season, according to January estimates, and shortages may result in reduced exports to some of its southern African neighbours.


According to Mwaba, the Botswana milling industry is largely dependent on South African maize crop and imports up to 95% of its annual requirements. He said the local milling industry has the capacity to supply the domestic Botswana market with maize meal.  


Maize prices have increase by up to 40% since December 2014. In reaction to this, the market should expect an increase in the price of finished product from as early as March 2015, explained the Chairman of Maize and Wheat Millers Association of Botswana.


The Millers Association of Botswana cautions that the market is likely to see high maize meal prices in both countries for the next 12 months. “We would like to caution the market on the likely increase in the price of maize chop (animal feed) to the beef sector.”


In other reports from South Africa, Grain SA cautioned on Friday that some farmers "stated that they deem this their worst harvest in their 30-40 years of planting".


"In some regions, there is already permanent damage, where no amount of rainfall can relieve the damage," the group said, terming the weather over the next few days as "critical", with rain "urgently needed".


The price of white maize, which is a staple among 90 per cent of South Africa's population, has spiked to 2,636 rand (224 dollars) a tonne, its highest level in a year.


Soaring temperatures in the North West and Free State provinces have caused maize and other grains such as sunflower and soya beans to deteriorate. "We have seen large areas where the damage is already irreversible," said Jannie de Villiers, GrainSA Chief Executive of reported.


The rolling power cuts that have gripped Africa's most advanced economy are also affecting the crops as irrigation systems stop when the power is turned off. Eskom which supplies about 95 per cent of South Africa's electricity is battling to meet its daily demand of about 30,000 megawatts and has had to reduce demand through controlled power cuts.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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