By Alois Vinga
LEADING Milk Processor, Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (DZL) has seen US$-denominated sales volumes increase by 68% in the year’s first quarter amid indications that on a nationwide scale, raw milk uptake continues to surge.
Presenting a trading update for the period ended March 31, 2023, DZL company secretary Maurice Karimupfumbi confirmed the increases in US$ sales during the period.
“Sales volumes for Q1 were 14% above the same period last year supported by investments in capacity to meet market demand. Foods contracted by 8%, milks grew by 7% and beverages grew by 20%.
“Volumes sold in US$ increased by 68% to 15,3 million litres and accounted for 58% of the total sales up from 39% in the same quarter last year,” Karimupfumbi said.
The revelations are in sync with recent announcements by monetary authorities to the effect that 70% of transactions being undertaken in the economy currently stand at 70%.
While pressure continues to mount on the government to incept strategies to strengthen the Zimbabwe dollar which has suffered severe devaluation headwinds on both the official and parallel markets, some analysts say the US$ inflows to companies are an alternative source for the companies to generate foreign currency to support raw materials, machinery and equipment needs.
During the period, the Dairy Services Unit of the Department of the Veterinary Services of Zimbabwe, says national raw milk production grew 5% compared to the prior year and milk received by processors grew 8% to 20,7 million litres.
Raw milk processed by the company at 6.863 m litres was 7% ahead of the same quarter last year and accounted for 33% of the milk received by processors.
Going forward, the company forecasts erratic supply and high cost of quality water and electricity are expected to persist, increasing the cost of production, and disrupting operations amid plans by management to engage in strategic partnerships and explore initiatives for alternative energy models and efficient production methods.
“Management will optimize the newly installed capacity for volume growth in 2023 and will continue to seek value-adding opportunities.
“We will leverage initiatives in raw milk production growth, our diversified product portfolio, effective pricing models, and route-to-market strategies for sustained growth,” added Karimupfumbi.