South African corn misses train
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
The country last week shipped corn to Mexico for the first time in at least
four years, exporting 27,410 mt of white corn from the port of East London on
the southeast coast. Most of South Africa's corn exports go to other countries
"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 commitments.
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 US.
Last week, South Africa also shipped 7,101 mt 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 over 600 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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