East and Central Africa Region Trade and Markets Report, May 2019 Update

Report
from World Food Programme
Published on 27 May 2019

Key Messages

Tightening supplies and anticipated lower than average seasonal production likely to keep prices higher for most of 2019.

  • Staple food prices have started to increase seasonally though they are still near-average as well as lower than 2018 levels across most markets. Maize prices in the region are more than double the prices in the international markets.

  • In the areas that have experienced severe rainfall deficits/ dry spells during the March-April-May long rains, maize prices and in some cases the price of sorghum have surpassed 2018 levels by 5-20%.

  • Livestock prices across most pastoral markets have reduced due to poor livestock body conditions occasioned by below normal range, browse and water conditions. In contrast, prices of small ruminants increased in most markets in Somalia due to higher consumption demand and limited market supply.

  • The poor households’ ability to access food from the markets is decimated due to rising cereal prices, reduced agricultural labour opportunities, low casual labour wages and reduced livestock.

  • Maize and sorghum exports declined atypically in the first four months of the year due to tightening domestic markets amidst expected production shortfalls in the upcoming harvests. However, for beans, exports in quarter one was higher due to consecutive seasons of above average production in Uganda

  • Staple food prices are forecasted to sustain rising trends for most of the year, only expected to temporarily stabilize during the harvest and immediate post-harvest periods.

  • The anticipated reduced maize production coupled with higher domestic demand in Uganda could adversely affect regional trade and result in higher prices.