In Eastern Africa, staple commodity prices generally followed seasonal trends in Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia, but atypical price trends were observed in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Tanzania (FEWS NET Price Watch, March 2018). Prices are expected to follow seasonal trends through June 2018, remaining below last year and five year USD prices due to a combination of currency depreciation, better production than 2017, and regional imports.
- White maize grain was as usual, the most regionally traded commodity between October and December 2017 because of increasing supply from the previous June-to-July, and ongoing November-to-January harvests (see Figure 1). Recurrent conflict-related trade disruptions from southern to northern markets in South Sudan encouraged alternative imports from Sudan in the north.
Maize grain as usual was the most traded commodity in the region followed by dry beans, rice and then sorghum. See Figure 1.
Staple commodity prices especially for maize are expected to remain above last year and five year average prices despite near average harvest in the region with spatial pockets of deficit within and between countries because carryover stocks are low, tightening supplies available for trade.
- Tanzania’s ban on maize grain exports to assure the country’s food security and to encourage value addition through exports of flour, would likely move regional cross-border trade to informal channels because of porous borders, and increase the maize export prices because of additional of costs of circumventing the ban.
Maize grain was the most informally traded commodity in Eastern Africa in the first quarter of 2017 accounting for 33 percent of total trade, but volumes traded in the region were lower when compared to 2013-2016 average due to tight supplies following below average harvests across most countries.
Maize grain was the most informally traded commodity in Eastern Africa in the fourth quarter of 2016 but its share of total trade decreased slightly from 35 percent in the third quarter to 31 percent in the fourth quarter because of average production and supplies in Kenya, Tanzania,
Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
Maize grain remained the most traded commodity in Eastern Africa in the second quarter of 2016 since it is consumed by a large percentage of the population. However, the quality of maize available in the region is of poor quality resulting in significant rejection rates by millers.
Locally produced rice mostly from Tanzania was the second major crop traded in the region but is still grappling with issues of origin since some of it is mixed with Asian attracting the full East Africa common external tariff.
About This Report
• El Nino related rains has improved food and nutrition security in many parts of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, southern Ethiopia and south and central Somalia during the last season (Oct-Dec 2015).
Maize grain, was the single most traded commodity in the East Africa region in 2015 as depicted in Figure 1. There were also significant informal cross-border trade of dry beans, cooking bananas, locally produced rice, sorghum, sesame; imported sugar, wheat and flour.
Most of the primary staple food commodities were informally traded while a majority of the processed food commodities were formally traded in the region in 2015.
The August 2015 FSNWG update reports indicate that approximately 19.2 million people in the Greater Horn of Africa are facing crisis and emergency food insecurity and are in urgent need of assistance.
Current Conditions: Regional Highlight
• Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) in parts of Sudan, western & central Ethiopia, agricultural areas of Uganda, western Kenya, southwest South Sudan, northern Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi but stressed (IPC Phase 2) in most pastoral areas;
• Crisis and emergency food insecurity remains a concern mostly in DRC, CAR and conflict-affected states of South Sudan, parts of NE Kenya, NE Ethiopia, some districts in Karamoja, Darfur in Sudan, IDP sites in Somalia;
The East and Central Africa Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG) is a multi-stakeholder regional forum, chaired by IGAD and FAO, and mandated to conduct regional food and nutrition security situational and response analysis in the region.
KEY MESSAGES ON CURRENT FOOD SECURITY & NUTRITION CONDITIONS
Good food security outcomes across the region which are expected to improve with the start of harvest across much of the region.
Nutrition conditions stable but with high levels of acute and chronic malnutrition.
Prices of staple grains in the region are either stable or declining.
June to September rains expected to be average to below average for most of the region
KEY MESSAGES FROM THE FSNWG MEETING JANUARY 24, 2013 (FSNWG JAN 13)
While seasonal and generally good food security conditions reflect improvement in communities in the horn of Africa, we must bear in mind that good is a relative term. Beneath these relatively good conditions exists extreme levels of chronic food insecurity. As learned from Somalia in 2011, these conditions are potentially deadly.
In this issue:
- Regional Food Security Situation and Outlook - Key highlights from the FSNWG meeting November 15th
- Hotspots to watch
- Rainfall, flood and El Nino update
- Market Analysis Sub-Group report on informal, regional trade in food commodities and OXFAM’s experience of engaging markets to promote business development in Turkana.
Key highlights from the FSNWG meeting held on October 18, 2012 (FSNWG, 18/10/12)
The seasonal harvests have reached both households and markets in the region improving food availability and access. This has caused a decrease in staple food prices and an increase in food security. Between July and August 2012, grain prices declined in the majority of regional markets in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Sudan. However, stressed and crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 2 & 3) persists in many areas.
Key Messages from the FSNWG meeting held September 20, 2012 (FSNWG, 20/09/12)
The normal to above normal rainfall predictions for the October-to-December seasonal rains in several parts of the region is expected to have a positive impact on crop and livestock productivity, except in flood prone areas.
The expected rains coupled with good food security interventions can lead to improved nutrition levels and food security for populations in the region.
The El Niño/La Niña–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Alert System is currently on “El Niño Watch” status, with all leading Global Climate Centre’s (GCC’s) indicating increased likelihood for its occurrence by October - September 2012. The El Niño would be expected to continue into early next year.