Chemco survives despite controls


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Agricultural inputs company, Chemco has lamented the introduction of price controls and the recent changes in foreign currency regulations saying they will hamper growth of the company.

It says restricted availability of foreign currency will hamper Agricura’s ability to ensure adequate stocks.

In its report for the year ending October, Chemco, says the decline in demand for its products, largely because of the decline in agricultural production, saw its sales only increase by 54 percent from $2.5 billion to $3.9 billion, way below the rate of inflation.

It says higher prices for Agricura’s products were outweighed by reductions in volumes. There were lower sales for insecticides in the cotton sector and fumigants for the tobacco sector. Higher sales were recorded in the horticultural sector, however.

The company says the availability of foreign currency at $59 to the greenback, allocated by the Tobacco Growers Trust, helped the company to secure tobacco chemicals but margins were insufficient to meet overheads which went up by over 100 percent. Net profit increased by only 86 percent from $372.2 million to $694.5 million.

The company says Agpy continued to focus on the production of its two maize hybrids which had demonstrated their drought and disease tolerance, but the company could not export the seed because of restrictions on exporting seed.

Pymac, a manufacturer of sprays, was sold at the end of the year but Agricura retained a marketing agreement to sell its products.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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