- April marks the start of the new agricultural marketing season for Southern Africa.
- Close to 12,000 MT of informal trade in maize, rice and beans was captured in April 2007, representing a 68% rise over volumes recorded in April 2006.
- Retail maize prices continue to decline across the monitored countries due to satisfactory cereal availability.
- Malawi begins its formal maize export programme to Zimbabwe, exports 952 MT in April.
Overall summary of trade flows
The new agricultural marketing season for Southern Africa began in April. By the end of the month, about 11,960 MT of trade in maize, rice and beans was captured by the informal cross border food trade monitoring system.
This represents a 68% rise in the overall trade as compared to the same month last year. On a commodity by commodity basis, trade in maize increased from 6,735 MT last April to 10,733 this year. Trade in rice rose five-fold from 133 MT to 751 MT, and the volume of bean trade doubled, from 238 MT to 476MT, over the same period. As compared to March 2007, maize trade in April has doubled from 5,782 MT to 10,733 MT, rice trade increased 38 % from 542 MT to 751 MT, while trade in beans remained at almost similar volumes captured in March (232 MT). The increase in the overall volume of trade captured this April can be partly explained by the unusually high export of maize by Zambia to the DRC (3,774 MT).
Figure 1: Recorded Informal Cross Border Maize Trade in DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa Tanzania, Zambia & Zimbabwe