JSE to launch Zambia dollar-denominated maize contract

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The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) is setting up a contract for Zambian maize that will be denominated in US dollars.

The contract will add liquidity to the Zambian market and provide the South African grain industry with better access to Zambian grain.

“We are in the process of launching a contract listed on the JSE, denominated in U.S. dollars, which will be the first foreign currency listed contract in any asset class on the JSE,” Donna Nemer, the bourse’s director of capital markets, told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum for Africa in Durban.

“It’s for Zambian maize for delivery points in Zambia. That product is ready to go and hopefully we’ll get our first trade within the next couple of months,” she said.

Zambia will allow monitored maize exports this year as the country expects to have a surplus after foreign sales were suspended in 2016 as a drought threatened output and pushed up prices.

Zambia’s maize crop is seen exceeding the 2.87 million tonnes produced last year but the figure has not been finalised. Annual consumption is 1.8 million tonnes.

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