By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA -
ZAMANITA, a subsidiary of Zambeef Products, has projected to crush around 70,000 tonnes of oil seed in 2014, of which 37,500 tonnes will be sourced internally.
This year the company has crushed 60,000 tonnes of oil seed and the revenue went up by 56 per cent.
Zambeef chief executive officer Francis Grogan said the company was now running at more than 75 per cent capacity after the completion of the expansion and renovation of the plant in 2012.
Mr Grogan said Zamanita had sourced 37,500 tonnes of soya beans internally and a further 25,000 tonnes from the third parties, saying that together with some stock carried over from 2013, would allow the company to increase its crush capacity to around 70,000 tonnes of oil seed next year.
“While soya meals continue to be on high demand across the region, the supply of soya meal into the market has increased significantly. This is likely to put downward pressure on prices and margins in 2014,” he said.
He observed that world edible oil prices are currently at a five-year low, leading to a reduction in retail prices.
This has also led to a large increase in volumes of edible oil being imported into Zambia.
Mr Grogan said the outlook for Zamanita was stable, despite lower prices expected in both soya meal and oil.
“Zamanita’s strength continues to be the higher margins achieved from crushing, the Zambeef retail network and strong brand,” he said.