Friday, February 23, 2018 

Prices for grain decline in EAC reveals anew market report

Photo Credit: Africa Business News

KAMPALA, Uganda--Prices for grain and cereals in the East African region have gone down; this is according to the January monthly market report released by the East African Grain Councils.

According to the report, there was total decline in prices for grain and cereals in most urban towns across the region. The report attributes the decline to the new stocks realized from Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi who are currently in the harvest.

The East African Grain Markets report indicated that Kenya was the main destination for maize and beans. 

Maize trade in the Kenya’s Western trade corridor with Uganda was on a precipitous ascending. Exports from Uganda increased by 44%; a 13% increase from the three-year average. This is attributed to good prices the Kenyan dealers were giving to Uganda grain exporters..

“Through informal Cross-Border Trade, Kenya provided mega markets for Uganda grain and Cereals. This increase was due to the second rain season which boosted harvest coupled with the attractive prices offered by the Kenyan urban markets. There was an increase in maize trade between Tanzania and Kenya” reads the report in part.

According to the report, Rwanda recorded the lowest prices due to the early 2018 harvest in the Eastern and Northern Province which has eased pressure on demand consequently reducing prices on the production zones. 

The country also experienced reduction in the prices of rice due to the harvest of rice which has already commenced in the northern districts and is expected to intensify in February. 

Price of the short grain (Kigoli) variety also dropped marginally in most of the monitored markets but expected to decrease precipitously in February with inbounding stocks from Kirehe and Bugarama regions.

For the case of Uganda, the report reveals that prices have remained relatively stable in Kampala, Lira, and Busia with variance of -2.3% and 1% from December. 

“This year, grain quality was reported to have improved in the markets though prices are low. A daily turnover of about 1,500MT was recorded at the Busia border market whereas, in Kampalas’ Kisenyi millers market, offloads averaged at 1200MT daily. Maize from Kiboga, Busoga, and Mbale was of good quality, therefore, trading averagely at Ugx.700/kg. However, stock sourced from Sebei was sold at Ugx 650/Kg.” the reports says. 

In Kampala, steady supply of the commodity pushed prices down marginally by 2%. On the contrary, northern markets had tightened supply with a gain of 13.7% recorded in Gulu. In the west, Kasese market had a 14.1% increase with local supply reported to be on the decline; this was attributed to abandonment of maize for cotton crop by smallholder farmers in the region.

In Tanzania the prices for maize inmost towns such as Arusha was trading at at Tsh 549/kg, this was a 49% decrease from last year’s prices; however, higher by 13% from the three-year average. Similarly, Dar es Salaam’s Tandale market recorded a declined from last year’s prices, a 40% lower compared to last year’s prices.

Lastly prices markets for grains from Burundi and Kenya the information indicates that the market prices also went down due to the ongoing harvesting seasons. For stance in Burundi the ongoing 2018A season harvest has replenished stocks easing the upward pressure on demand. In Bujumbura, prices went down by 8.3% (Bif 914/Kg in January).

In Kenya Most markets eased in price with adequate stocks from the concluded long rains harvest and sustained supply from imports within the region Imports through the western corridor increased by 44% (46,010.03MT in January) due to better prices offered by Ugandan markets.

In Nairobi’s Nyamakima market, prices averaged Ksh 35/kg in January, a 14.3% decrease from December’s prices. Traders reported adequate stocks with maize from Narok attracting higher prices (Ksh 41/Kg) and maize from Uganda trading at Ksh 30/Kg.

By SAMUEL NABWIISO, Friday, February 23rd, 2018