Cottco pays USD19,6million to farmers

The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) has managed to pay farmers US$19,6million and ZWL$ 7,2billion of the outstanding dues.

The company advised stakeholders in a trading update for the five months ended 31 January 2024.

The US$ payments represent 83% of payments made while the ZW$ payments constitute 18%.

All outstanding dues will be cleared by 31 March 2024.

The company reported that the prices of lint on the international market firmed at US$85C/ lb from US$74.85c/ lb.

China accounted for more than half of the net sales.

Oilseed prices remained firm during the period. Locally, the demand for ginned seed from oil expressors continued to surpass the available supplies.

Liquidity in the local economy remained constrained, with Cottco unable to drawdown to the full extent of available facilities, despite having adequate security.

Forr the 2023 Cotton Buying Season final intake figures stood at 69,419mt which was a 48% increase from the 46,748 metric tonnes achieved in 2022.

Power supply challenges in the last quarter of 2023 delayed the completion of ginning.

58,326mt (84%) of seed cotton has been ginned with only 1,066mt (2%) having been toll ginned in the Lowveld due to the high volumes in that area.

Local and offshore lint customer collections are still underway with 7,776mt of lint in stock. Ginned seed on hand is 4,642mt and upliftment by seed suppliers and oil expressors is underway. 475mt of lint has been converted to yarn since 1 April 2023 to date.

The company reported that the five year audit from 31 March 2018 to 31 March 2022 had been completed. The financial results await signing off.

Cottco reported that following the promulgation of Statutory Instrument 156 of 2023, the Government’s 37.1% shareholding in Cottco Holdings Limited, previously held in the name of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is now held through Mutapa Investment Fund.

The Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Priscilla Mutembwa left the company on 31 December 2023.

Search for a substantive Chief Executive Officer is on.

Mr. Munyaradzi Chikasha (Chief Operating Officer) is currently the Acting CEO having previously acted the capacity from June 2022 to September 2023.

The Grain Marketing Board was been given the mandate to distribute Inputs from the Presidential Inputs Scheme for Cotton in November last year.

Cotton farmers who receive inputs through the Presidential Inputs for Cotton remain contracted to deliver their seed cotton to Cottco.

As a result of the El Nino conditions, the first effective rains were received in December 2023 and the 181,604 growers have so far established an estimated 128,152 hectares. The late crop will result in an estimated one-month delay in the intake.

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