East Africa: Regional Sorghum Supply and Market Outlook - March 29, 2018
Sorghum makes important contributions to national food supply in the counties covered in this report, accounting for the majority of grain production in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia (82, 76 and 55 percent, respectively), and smaller amounts in Ethiopia and Uganda (18 and ten percent, accordingly). Sorghum accounts over half of grain consumption in South Sudan and Sudan and nine to 18 percent in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Uganda, respectively.
This report summarizes the supply and market outlook for sorghum in the East African countries of Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The outlook period follows the 2017/18 marketing year (MY), spanning from July 2017 to June 2018 and covering two main harvests—the 2017 June-to-August harvest and the 2017/2018 October-to-February harvest. While the June-to-August harvest data estimates are more reliable, the October-to-February harvests are estimates and may be updated as data becomes available.
Sorghum harvests just finished in all countries around January. Preliminary production estimates suggest that all three structurally surplus countries, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Sudan, are expected to have below-average to average surplus. The greatest demand is expected to come from South Sudan, which is expected to pull supplies from Sudan and Uganda.
Above-average prices are expected in South Sudan, Sudan, the Somali region of Ethiopia and northern Somalia, mostly driven by depreciation and conflict. The rest of region is likely to have near average prices.
The aggregate sorghum surplus of these countries for the 2017/18 MY is estimated to be less than half of aggregate average supply levels (Figure 2). Given the below average surplus, market-based response activities of sorghum or any substitute commodities should consider the projected market and trade dynamics put forth in this report. Monitoring performance of upcoming harvests and macroeconomic issues (especially in Sudan and South Sudan) will be essential in 2018.