East Africa Cross Border Trade Bulletin (October 2019, Volume 27)

Summary Points

• Maize grain was the most traded commodity in the third quarter of 2019 due to increased exports from Uganda to Kenya and South Sudan because of high demand and improving market functionality respectively. See Figure 1.

• Maize availability in the Eastern Africa region between July 2019 and June 2020 is expected to be lower than last year but similar to recent five-year average levels because of below to near average June-to-July harvest especially in the main producing Uganda and main consuming Kenya and Somalia markets. Staple food commodity parity price trends (expressed in US dollars per MT) exhibited seasonal patterns across most reference markets and were relatively higher in Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi because lower production, poor economic conditions and or border restrictions.

• Maize trade increased atypically as traders in Uganda released more maize into the market to get better prices before the October-to-December harvest. Regional trade in dry beans exceeded recent-five-yea raverage levels because of expanding supplies to South Sudan from Uganda, and higher exports from Tanzania and Ethiopia to Kenya. Rice trade remained high because of persistent high demand in the region.

• Maize and sorghum prices across most markets in the Eastern Africa region are expected to trend typically but remain elevated between October 2019 because of tight supplies and high costs of marketing.

• Regional trade in livestock is expected to remain low between October 2019 and March 2020 start because of reduced demand following the end of the July-to-August religious festivities.