Maize, sorghum, and groundnuts are the most important food commodities for poor rural households in South Sudan. Flour and wheat (as bread) are more important for middle income and rich households in urban areas. Sorghum and maize are generally substitutes, but preferences are shifting towards maize over time, especially in the southern half of South Sudan. Groundnuts are important for the rural poor in Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Warrap, and Lakes states. Harvest seasons vary geographically and by production system. Short--cycle sorghum harvested between July and August in Greater Equatoria states and between September and October in Greater Bahr el Ghazal, Greater Upper Nile states and Jonglei states. Long-cycle sorghum is harvested between December and January in Central and Eastern Equatoria states, Greater Lakes, Western Bahr El Ghazal, Warrap, and Upper Nile states. Maize grain and flour are imported from Uganda and available year-round because of the bi-modal rainfall pattern and carryover stocks.
The main retail markets are mostly located in the County capitals, including: Juba, Aweil, Malakal, Wau, Torit, Renk, Kuajok, Bor, Rumbek, and Yambio. The most important local wholesale market is in Renk, a mechanized cereal producing area in Upper Nile state. Aweil, Wau, Kuajok, and Bentiu are mostly supplied in cereals from Khartoum and El Obeid (Sudan), while Malakal is also normally supplied by Renk and Kosti (Sudan). Cereal supplies in Juba, Torit, Bor, and Rumbek are mostly sourced from Uganda. Uganda maize sometimes reaches Wau and Aweil when the border between South Sudan and Sudan borders is closed. Historical price data sets (spanning 2012 to date) are only available for some markets.