Zimbabwe Plans to Abandon Fixing Prices for Commodities

Bloomberg — Zimbabwe plans to stop fixing the prices of commodities and will set up a trading exchange before the end of the year where market prices will prevail, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said.

“We as government determine prices of wheat, maize and cotton,” said Ncube in an interview Tuesday with the state-owned Zimpapers Television Network. “We want the market to be able to do this, so we are going to launch a proper commodity exchange that makes sure that prices are market determined, and they are fair.”

The Grain Marketing Board currently fixes prices for commodities including corn and cotton, paying farmers Z$21,000 ($257) a ton plus a 30% bonus for early corn deliveries, for instance. In place of the arrangement, a commodities exchange will be launched this year and will be in full operation in 2021, Ncube said.

Agriculture was identified as a key driver in the country’s five-year economic plan that is expected to deliver expansion of more than 5% through 2025.