Wheat import tariff nearly halves in March
SA’s wheat import tariff has declined a hefty 45% to R394.85 per tonne, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) said on Monday.
This new duty was calculated in mid-February, following a surge in international wheat prices, but was only published in the government gazette to make it official on Friday evening, the chamber said in a statement.
The drop in wheat tariffs helps relieve cost pressures for millers such as Pioneer Foods, which counts Sasko among its suite of brands.
SA is projected to import about 1.93-million tonnes of wheat in the 2017-18 season, which is more than double the 934,765 tonnes imported in 2016-17 season.
The adjustments in the wheat import tariff are satisfied when the international wheat price deviates from the base price by more than $10 per tonne for three consecutive weeks.
The international wheat prices consistently traded above $235 per tonne in three weeks February 13, making a deviation of $10 per tonne above the base price of then $218 per tonne.
Drier weather conditions in parts of the US had supported higher international wheat prices over the period.
"It is also worth noting that the wheat import tariff has triggered again on March 20 to R293.74 per tonne, down by 25% from the current rate of R394.85," agricultural economist at Agbiz Wandile Sihlobo said.
"The newly calculated rates will only be applicable after publication in the government gazette. The timeframe for this process is unclear. The previous adjustments took more than three weeks."