Zimbabwe coup not expected to have any effect on polymers trade flows

16 November 2017 11:38 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--The military coup in Zimbabwe is unlikely to have any negative effect on the African polymers market, according to sources this week.

The military took control of the country on 15 November, confining the president Robert Mugabe to his home.

Talks are now currently ongoing, with the recently deposed vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, expected by some to be elevated to the presidency.

Zimbabwe has suffered numerous economic problems over the past decade, including wide scale unemployment and hyperinflation.

Most players in the polymers market do not deal with Zimbabwe, with the majority of imports coming from South Africa.

Sellers in South Africa were not concerned about the change in leadership as Zimbabwe is a very small market with limited buying power.

"I don’t think the current situation will have any major bearing or change on business activities in the immediate period" said a South African producer.

There has been little disruption to Zimbabwe at the time of writing, with no resistance to the military action.

The removal of president Mugabe may improve the local economy as many of the country's economic problems have been blamed on his financial policies, according to analysts.

Players in other regions said that dealing with Zimbabwe became impossible years ago and they now avoided the region.

"By 2005 we stopped [because] payments were coming in dribs and drabs," said a trader in east Africa.

"The last payment came through a crocodile farm, they were the only ones with dollars," added the source.

Pictured: People walk past an armored vehicle on a street in Harare
Source: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

By Ben Lake