Africa Newsletter 03-19-21
East Africa Update
Kenya Introduces Stricter Measures For Maize Imports
After a week of debate at the government level, Kenya removed the ban on maize from Tanzania and Uganda and introduced stricter measures as a way to manage the quality that is entering the country after a number of trucks were received with high levels of aflatoxins.
According to The East African, Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority issued a letter dated 5th March saying imports from Tanzania and Uganda had revealed high levels of mycotoxins that are above the EA Standard of 10 parts per billion and that imports would stop but the decision was overturned and the Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya just reiterated the need for further quality checks and registration of importers and their warehouses.
In a 2020 report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Kenya’s annual production is well below its target of 3.6 million tons and that the country imported 450,000 bags in January and 300,000 bags in February from Tanzania and Uganda. Uganda exports most of its maize to Kenya with estimations at above 300,000 tons per month.
Kenya Market Update
Maize in the Nairobi area is now trading between KES 2,600 and KES 2,700 per 90 kg bag but a number of millers are not happy with the pricing and expect prices to increase unless more imports are allowed. Imports came to a halt for just over a week but now traders are awaiting test results before they can continue to cross the border with their maize deliveries. Soybeans are still trading at KES 60 per kg as the demand continues with animal feed processors having limited stocks but also limited on how much they can increase their offers. Sesame seeds are trading at USD 1,400 per metric ton in Mombasa.
Uganda Market Update
Graded maize is trading at UGX 650 per kg in the Kampala area as millers continue to test for aflatoxins in all deliveries after seeing some stocks being rejected by the big processors. Traders that are targeting the Kenya market are getting inspections undertaken before offering their stocks to Kenyan buyers after the introduction of the new restrictions. Soybeans are now trading at UGX 2,300 per kg in Kampala and expected to remain high as animal feed processors begin to slow down on their buying with the higher price not viable. Maize bran is still available at UGX 500 per kg.
Kenyan Farmers Hoard Maize For Higher Prices
Kenyan maize farmers are reported to be holding 96 percent of stocks in the current market as they prepare for a price increase in the coming months all the way into May.
The Ministry of Agriculture indicated that farmers are holding 18 million bags out of a total of 18.8 million bags and this has led to shortages for millers and an expected increase in the maize flour price as reported by Business Daily.
Maize grain is currently quoted at KES 2,625 per 90 kg bag and millers have made complaints recently that the levels supplied by farmers remain low during a time when the authorities introduced new restrictions for Tanzanian and Ugandan origin maize after a short ban. Tanzania and Uganda usually supplement the required stocks of maize for Kenya as not enough grain is produced locally.
Ugandan Rice Farmers Stranded As Prices Drop Low
Ugandan rice farmers have started hoarding their crop as the market prices have not been favourable in recent weeks while consumers have been fortunate enough to see lower prices on shelves a high production from the last season coupled with the duty-free rice from Tanzania has been the main factors.
According to the Daily Monitor, Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture states that Uganda’s rice demand is more than 225,000 metric tons per year compared to local production only managing 165,000 metric tons leaving a deficit of 60,000 metric tons.
Farmers have started holding onto their product with the anticipation that schools opening and the Easter holidays will see an increase in price as quotes have been between UGX 1,600 and UGX 1,700 per kg with the hope that prices will increase to UGX 2,000 per kg.
Wheat Imports Into Kenya Fall Signals Higher Consumer Prices
After Russia introduced a Euro 25 per ton duty on wheat exports, Kenya’s wheat imports have declined by 34% in January with the cost per ton increased to KES 33,000 per ton compared to its KES 25,300 per ton level a year ago.
As reported in the Business Daily, Kenya’s domestic production stands at 350,000 tons per year while the country’s consumption is above 900,000 tons as the key origins for wheat imported include Russia, Ukraine, United States, and Argentina.
Consumers may continue to see high bread and flour prices as the global wheat prices could remain high with the world’s biggest exporter cutting its exports and other origins not being able to fill the gaps in the markets.
Ginger And Lemon Sales Double In Rwanda
The coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of information about the treatment of the virus, even with the scientific proof being limited, has seen the consumption of lemon and ginger double in the past year and this has seen a price increase.
Rwanda Today reports on the new demand has seen imports from Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya double with ginger imports reaching 4,154,843 kgs in 2020 from 2,333,053 kgs in 2019 and lemon imports increasing to 591,580 kgs in 2020 from 502,6060 kgs in 2019.
The price of ginger has increased from Rfw 600 ($0.60 cents) to Rwf 1,000 ($1.01) per kg while the price of lemon has come from Rfw 1,000 ($1.01) to Rwf 3,000 ($3.02) per kg.