THE Millers Association of Zambia (MAZ) has said millers across the country have reduced the prices of breakfast mealie meal by about K10 but the situation on the ground yesterday still showed high prices. MAZ president Allan Sakala said mealie-meal was now expected to fetch between K61 and K64 for a 25 kilogramme bag of breakfast in all parts of the country from the previous price of above K75. "The prices of mealie-meal have normalised to between K61 and K64 following the release of maize by the FRA and any upward adjustments to the price of the commodity hereon should be attributed to individual traders as they too incur operational costs," he said. A check in selected stores in Ndola yesterday, however, revealed that retailers had maintained the prices of breakfast mealie meal at around K74 per 25 kilogramme bag. According to Mr Sakala the stability in the prices of mealie-meal emanated from the excess maize made available for the local market by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). FRA recently offloaded 50,000 tonnes of maize onto the market in a bid to cushion escalating mealie-meal prices. Outlets such as Olympic Milling and Shoprite were found selling the commodity at K74. At Pick n Pay, town centre area, however, the product was fetching at K64 per 25 kilogramme bag. Meanwhile, Mr Sakala asked the Government to allow selected millers to export mealie-meal to countries which applied for a proportion of the commodity before a ban on export was effected last year. "We do have a few pending contracts for the export of mealie-meal to selected consumers outside Zambia and all we need is for this exercise to be allowed only for the period when these agreements are consummated," Mr Sakala said.
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