THE cost of soyabeans has gone up and is affecting the competitiveness of the stockfeed sector, the Stockfeed Manufacturing Association (SMA) has said. The sector is importing the crop from Zambia to meet domestic shortfall.
Industrial requirement for soyabeans is currently pegged at more than 120 000 tonnes.
“In addition to difficulties in acquiring foreign currency for the procurement of key raw materials, the major challenge facing the feed and livestock production sectors is the cost and availability of soya beans/solvent extracted meal, wheat bran and molasses,” SMA said in its June report.
Poultry feeds continued to dominate demand. In the second quarter of 2018, production averaged 32,8 million tonnes valued at $21, 3 million.
The statistics show a 46 percent increase in quantity and 37 percent increase in value over the same period in 2017.
“Poultry feeds accounted for 70 percent of all feeds produced by weight and 77 percent by monetary value. By comparison, pig and ruminant feeds accounted for eight and nine percent of the total value of feeds produced, respectively,” SMA said.
As in the first quarter, the industry witnessed continued investment in the broiler sector in the second quarter, with an average production of 7,4 million chicks per month, a 29 percent increase over the second quarter of 2017. However, this production was heavily reliant on importation of hatching eggs while breeding capacity increased following Avian Flu-induced culling in May 2017.
“Maize and soya procurements during the second quarter constituted the bulk of raw material used, accounting for 71 percent of all raw materials procured by weight and 71 percent by monetary value. Average monthly procurement of maize and soyabean derivatives in the second quarter of 2018 were 20,6 million tonnes worth $5,8 million and 12,5 million tonnes per month valued at $8 million respectively,” SMA said.
In a move to ensure the availability of raw materials, four financial institutions have committed to partnering United Refineries Limited (URL) to fund its soyabean out growers’ project as it forges ahead to satisfy its demand for the edible oil seed, targeting 7 500 hectares. Last year, imports of soya beans drained $172 million from the fiscus, with farmers only managing to produce 35 000 tonnes.