Africa Newsletter 10-02-20
East Africa Update
Exports to Asia Narrow Uganda’s Trade Deficit
The Middle East remains the leading destination for Uganda’s exports bringing it to three months in a row this year with an estimated 53.3% of the country’s exports going to the Middle East followed by other members of the East African Community.
According to The Monitor, The United Arab Emirates was the single largest destination in June with exports to the country growing from 100 million dollars to 223 million dollars in July. This growth represented the exports of coffee, maize, cement, fruit, and vegetables according to data from the Ministry of Finance.
On an annual basis, imports increased by 10.1% in July from 547 million dollars to 605 million dollars. The majority of imports came from China at 40.7%, India at 30%, and Japan at 12.9% while Kenya and Tanzania were the origins within the region at 47.9% and 48.5%, respectively.
Uganda Market Update
Maize in the capital Kampala in trading circa UGX 650 per kg as most of the grain has now dried, meeting the East African Standard for moisture content at 13.5%. The price is expected to increase over the coming weeks as the economy begins to open up after more COVID-19 guidelines were relaxed by the government. Maize is trading at UGX 580 per kg in Gulu and at UGX 600 per kg in the Kigumba area.
Soybeans are available at UGX 1,200 per kg in Kampala as traders start seeing more demand coming from Kenya. Sesame seeds are trading at UGX 3,000 per kg in Kampala ahead of the new crop expected from the end of November. Maize bran is trading between UGX 450 per kg and UGX 475 per kg in Kampala as in line with the fall of the maize grain price.
East African Partners Throw Kenya Under The Bus In Brexit Talks
Kenya is facing the risk of losing out on its multi-billion dollar trade in the UK after other members of the East African Community failed to come to an agreement on post-Brexit trade with the bloc.
The East African reports on the 31st December deadline for the East African Community to agree on a trade deal that would give member countries tariff and quota access into the UK market with Kenya trading over 742 million dollars with the UK in 2019 compared with 91 million dollars for Uganda and 231 million dollars for Tanzania.
Low Global Demand Pulls Down Tea Prices
Prices of tea at the Mombasa auction have seen a fall below 2 dollars per kg as the demand remains low in the global markets as the latest indication shows a fall from 1.94 dollars per kg to 1.89 dollars per kg.
According to the Business Daily, the volumes at the auction increased to 5.7 million kgs from 5.4 million kgs the previous week after a decline in supplies from farmers, and the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) has stated that the fall in price was due to liquidity challenges and constant supply.
KTDA’s data shows that export volumes fell to 289.1 million kgs this year compared to 292.6 million in 2019.
Uganda Accuses Tanzania Of Unfair Charges On Transporters
The government of Uganda is accusing the government of Tanzania of unfairly treating its transporters by charging them different fees compared to other countries such as Rwanda in the East African Community leading to Uganda filing a complaint to the EAC Council of Ministers.
The disagreement is centered around a 500 dollar fee the Tanzanian authorities charge Ugandan trucks compared to the 152 dollar charge that Rwandan trucks are charge to come into Tanzania territory en route to Dar es Salaam port as reported by The East African.
Any potential conflict between these two larger East African countries that have traded over 171 million dollars per year would damage the overall regional market as exports of coffee, maize, animal feed, dairy products, and other non-agriculture products would be affected.