While most Zimbabwean companies have turned to the export markets in an effort to generate foreign currency for the importation of raw materials and equipment, one of the country’s biggest companies Delta Corporation, does not have an exportable product yet.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing critical foreign currency shortages that has had a negative impact on companies’ ability to import raw materials and equipment resulting in some turning to the export market to generate foreign currency to supplement allocations from local financial institutions including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
The RBZ also introduced export incentives that are meant to encourage export oriented production so that the country can generate foreign exchange to procure critical imports, mainly for the productive sector.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, extended the same call to local companies including the Delta Corporation which he said must consider exploring the export market and also consider investing into the regional market to help secure foreign currency for the country.
Speaking during a tour of the company’s Graniteside plant recently, President Mnangagwa urged the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed entity to venture into the export market.
“I am informed that currently, Delta’s market is principally the domestic market. I would urge that as we go into the future, you either export or invest in regional markets so that you earn foreign currency for us by investing outside Zimbabwe,” President Mnangagwa said.
While the beverages giant has managed to invest into the region through the purchase of Natbrew Plc in Zambia, its product range does not allow it export into the region, according to responses given to Business Weekly by the company’s corporate affairs executive Patricia Murambinda.
“There are limited opportunities for exporting both alternative beverages and beer into the region due to common products and brands produced in the region,” said Murambinda.
Delta’s majority shareholder Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB Inbev), has a presence in most regional countries making it difficult for the company to export into the region.
Most of its brands are retailed across the continent where AB Inbev continues to make inroads.
Just this week, AB InBev announced plans to open breweries in Mozambique and Nigeria as part of Africa expansion.
The world’s largest brewer, is investing in Africa where beer consumption is on the rise and has also agreed to build a $100 million brewery in Tanzania, limiting chances for Delta to export or expand into the region.
Delta is also a licenced local bottler for Coca-Cola products and is only allowed to service the local market although different product pricing in the various markets might result in indirect sales into the region through smuggling. Likewise, the local brewer can also lose market share to regional sister companies if the pricing regime makes local products expensive.–ebusinessweekly.co.zw