Zimbabwe’s only ammonium nitrate producing company Sable Chemicals is set to revise downwards its annual projected output
For the month of January and February, the company which requires at least US$3 million a month did not receive any allocations from the central bank and the firm’s operations manager Mr Allan Manhanga is a worried man.
“What we are saying is if you look at what happened last year October and November US$26.3 million was used to import finished products, if that money had been allocated for the importation of feedstock for the ammonia, we could have saved the country a minimum of US$8 million so the way we are going about this is very inefficient,” he said.
Official statistics from the central bank indicate that the nation spent US$109 million towards the importation of ammonium nitrate in 2018, with the management of the Kwekwe based firm saying they only got us$4.5 million.
An economic analyst Mr Trust Chikohora said judging by the figures obtaining on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s monthly economic review of November 2018, more still needs to be done to capacitate local firms.
“Our appetite for imports seems to be on the rise day-in day-out. We need to ensure that we capacitate the remaining industry as this has a number of advantages in terms of employment creation and reserving the little forex we have through import substitution,” he said.
Sable Chemicals had set a 100 000 tonne target for this year up from around 38 tonnes produced last year after government through the central bank had made a commitment to supply the firm with the required funding.
Reports say government is set to save at least 30 percent of forex for every 100 tonnes produced locally.