The Zimbabwe Mercantile Exchange (ZMX) has so far issued 72 000 Metric Tonnes (MT) wheat warehouse receipts now ready for trading after getting government nod to facilitate its trading as one of the country’s strategic grains.
The ZMX initiative is a partnership between the Government and the private sector led by Financial and Securities Exchange Limited (FINSEC), TSL Limited and CBZ Holdings.
The exchange was launched last year and operates an electronic warehouse receipt system (WRS) and a commodity trading platform for the trading and financing of agricultural commodities.
A WRS enables commodity holders like farmers to deposit their commodity with a designated warehouse in exchange for a receipt which is a negotiable instrument that can be used as collateral for credit facilities or for spot trading.
In an interview with 263Chat Business on the sidelines of the ZMX Agricultural Financiers Meeting, ZMX chief executive officer, Collin Tapfumaneyi said all ground work including the on-boarding of warehouses for the operationalization of the exchange are now in place.
“Trading hasn’t started yet because trading is facilitated through warehouse receipts and our focus has been onboarding warehouses, onboarding warehouses operators, banks and other financial institutions and investors and we have done that,”
“Now we have started issuing warehousing receipts. We have issued quit a few we are now up to 72 000 Metric Tonnes of wheat warehouse receipts. So those that will be interested in trading now will now be facilitated with trading as soon as possible.”
Wheat will join other commodities to be listed for spot trading after soya beans, white sorghum, red sorghum, and millet and sugar beans.
The trading of wheat shall be in full compliance with SI 188 of 2021, which specifies the terms and conditions for the trading of wheat.
According to the government, farmers across the country are expected to deliver a combined 380000 tonnes, representing an 80 000-tonnes increase from 2021and 20 000 more tonnes than the national requirement.
The ZMX will ride on storage capacity of the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots in Aspindale, Banket, Bulawayo, Concession, Chinhoyi, Chegutu, Gweru, Lion’s Den, Magunje, Masvingo, Murehwa and Norton as well as other approved warehouses are Bak Storage and S&P Logistics in Harare.
The ZMX currently courting financiers to finance the agriculture sector with a target of US$ 55 million expected to be raised through direct lending to farmers, warehouse receipt financing, commodity fund and through issuance of medium term note and bonds.