Africa Newsletter 01-08-21
East Africa Update
NCPB Starts Buying Maize From Farmers
The National Cereal and Produce Board (NCPB) in Kenya has opened its depots and started buying maize with a targeted price of KES 2,500 per 90 kg bag which is slightly higher than the prices that traders were paying in the region of KES 2,200 and KES 2,300.
Traders usually use the NCPB price point as their benchmark for buying maize and this new move has been welcomed by growers but no so much for the millers who expect the maize price to affect the flour price as reported by Business Daily.
After last year’s high maize prices that saw the NCPB not enter the market, this time around they plan on buying at least one million bags for commercial purposes. The agency has started receiving maize and quantities are expected to increase in the next coming days and weeks.
Uganda Market Update
As the harvest for maize is underway, maize is trading below UGX 700 per kg in the Kampala area and UGX 600 per kg in the Gulu area. Uganda is expecting a good crop this year but traders will be aware of the new aflatoxin certification requirements to the neighbouring Kenyan market.
Soybeans continue to trade around the UGX 1,650 per kg level but are expected to see a lower price in the coming weeks as the new harvest will see the oilseed’s new crop enter the market. Maize bran is now trading just below UGX 500 per kg as processors are increasing on stocks in the event of supply disruptions from next week’s presidential elections.
Covid-19 Threatens Uganda-South Sudan Informal Trade
Uganda’s Ministry of Finance expects Covid-19 to affect the flow of trade to South Sudan, especially on the informal side as new restrictions have been introduced at the Elegu-Nimule border that may hamper the abilities of informal traders and benefit those that are more formal.
According to The Monitor, the Ministry of Finance reported that in February 2020 Uganda had $54.9m in trade surplus with the rest of the East African Community with South Sudan contributing significantly to this.
After Kenya, Uganda exported the most goods to South Sudan and despite its political challenges, South Sudan remains a key trade partner to Uganda.
Ethiopia Imports $48 Million Worth Of Edible Oil Every Month
The Ethiopian federal government is currently spending up to $48 million on imported edible oils according to its Ministry of Trade and Industry which has increased the pressure for import substitution in the country.
According to The Reporter, only 12% of the domestic consumption is met by local production and this has led to annual imports of $576 million of edible oils that mainly include palm oil and sunflower oil with smaller amounts of soybean oil, groundnut oil, linseed oil, and cottonseed oil consumed.
With the country importing 40 million litres of edible oils every month, the government is encouraging the increase of local production and this has seen 11 oil refineries present in the country with an additional eight plants under construction.
African Free Trade Pact Kicks Off Despite Legal Hurdles, Rigid Systems
The start of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was, in theory, started on 1st January 2021 but there remains a number of challenges that are holding back its full implementation.
In Rwanda Today, it is reported that the World Customs Organisation (WCO) sees outdated laws and regulations, lack of transparency in Customs administration operations, and resistance to change as the key challenges that are preventing the take-off of free trade in Africa.
The lack of cooperation amongst government agencies is also affecting intra-Africa trade as the World Customs Organisation recommends that agencies that manage borders should take a leading role in the required inter-agency cooperation.