• In the fourth quarter of 2019, maize grain was the main commodity traded in Eastern Africa See Figure 1. These trends include unusually high maize exports from Tanzania to Rwanda to replace traditional supplies from Uganda following border closures between the two countries. In addition, exports from Uganda to Kenya and South Sudan have increased due to high demand and improving market functionality respectively.
• Staple food commodity parity price trends (expressed in US dollars per MT) were elevated in late 2019. Maize prices were mostly above last year and recent five-year average levels because of below average harvests. Prices increased rapidly in Rwanda due to reduced inflows from Uganda while supply chain and market linkages with Tanzania continued to develop amidst high demand.
• Maize and sorghum prices across most markets in the Eastern Africa region are expected to follow seasonal trends but remain elevated because of tight supplies and high marketing costs.
• Regional trade in livestock is expected to intensify early in 2020 because of continued fattening of livestock from availability of water and pasture following extended rains, and high export demand from Middle Eastern countries for the April-to-August religious festivities.