Africa Newsletter 03-05-21
East Africa Update
Maize Imports From Uganda Up Five-Fold In January
Maize imports from Uganda to Kenya have seen a five-fold increase in January compared to the same period last year after traders continued to cross the border to meet the demand by the millers who are now seeing the price stabilise within the range of KES 2,800 per 90 kg bag as reported in the Business Daily.
January 2020 saw 100,000 bags entering the market from Uganda whereas this January that number went up to 523,000 bags according to data from Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture but the steadying of the price of the grain has not been all too welcomed by farmers who were looking to benefit from a further price hike and this has seen farm gate prices in North Rift coming down to KES 2,200 per 90 kg bag from KES 2,300 per 90 kg bag at harvest.
Kenya Market Update
The maize price in the Nairobi area is still between KES 2,700 and KES 2,800 per 90 kg bag as millers continue to offer a competitive price compared to government bids. Soybeans continue to be a challenge on pricing as feed processors are seeing offers between KES 55 and KES 60 per kg and this has led to some looking for imports from Ukraine and Ethiopia before the next Malawi and Zambia crop.
Uganda Market Update
Maize has been trading between UGX 620 and UGX 650 per kg in the Kampala area over the past week and this is expected to remain steady for the remainder of the month as more grain enters the market from the growing regions. Soybeans are trading near UGX 2,200 per kg and its by-product, soybean meal, has been quoted at UGX 2,500 per kg though this is expected to increase as the next few months will see less soybeans in the market until the following crop in June and July. Sunflower meal is available in Kampala at UGX 1,200 per kg while maize bran is still steady at UGX 500 per kg.
Kenya, Uganda To End Trade Standoff With A Bilateral Deal In April
The Kenyan and Ugandan authorities are expected to meet in April to thrash out a deal that would allow the two nations to ease any trade tensions that have occurred recently.
The two countries have already agreed in principal on bilateral agreements for sugar, fruit juices and pharmaceuticals, which involved Kenya allowing more Uganda origin sugar imports as the Ugandan authorities relaxed 12% duty on fruit juices and 12% verification fees for Kenyan pharmaceuticals as reported in The Star.
Earlier this year, after Kenyan authorities seized Pearl Dairy milk products, the Ugandan authorities protested and stated that these seizures went against the EAC Customs Union Protocol and even threatened to take the matter to court.
Uganda-Rwanda Border Still Closed Two Years Down The Road
The Uganda-Rwanda borders crossing of Katuna and Chanika in Kabale and Kisoro Districts respectively have now been closed for two years since the Rwanda government announced the closers on 27th February 2019 and this led to truck drivers being advised to only use the Mirama Hill border from Ntungamo District.
The Independent reports on how this has suffocated business in the bordering towns and has also seen a rise in the smuggling of goods from Uganda via porous border crossings with the Katuna Town council alone estimating losses of over UGX 400 million is revenue for trading licenses, parking fees and weekly market charges.
Residents in the border towns are already losing hope of the official borders opening anytime soon but the governments maintain on-going negotiations that are being led by President Joao Lourenco of Angola and President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
German Firm Eyes Commodities With New Kenya Office
German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd AG has opened an office in Nairobi to position itself in the region as the East African economies expand and trade growth expected to increase over the coming decade with the large investments in infrastructure.
According to Business Daily, Hapag-Lloyd AG will be looking to increase shipments of agricultural commodities and textiles from Kenya and the surrounded landlocked countries with current shipments into Kenya consisting of chemicals, foodstuffs and other plastic and rubber products.
The shipping company has a fleet of 222 container ships that transport a total of 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) with two services offered via the port of Mombasa that include the China Kenya Express Service (CKX) with a voyage to ports in Asia such as Singapore and Shanghai while the second service is the East Africa Service (EAS2) to the west coast of India and Jebel Ali in Dubai.