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East Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook

  • Supply and Market Outlook
  • East Africa
  • March 8, 2019
East Africa Regional Supply and Market Outlook

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Wheat, maize, rice and, and sorghum are important staple foods in East Africa. Domestic sorghum production makes important contributions to national food supply in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia (82, 76 and 55 percent, respectively), and smaller amounts in Ethiopia and Uganda (18 and ten percent, respectively). 

    • This report summarizes the supply and market outlook for sorghum in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The outlook period follows the 2018/19 marketing year (MY), spanning from October 2018 to September 2019 and covering two main harvests—2018/2019 October-to-February harvest the 2019 June-to-August harvest. While the October-to-February harvest data estimates are more reliable, the June-to-August harvests are estimates and may be updated as data becomes available.

    • Sorghum harvest concluded in East Africa by January. Preliminary production estimates suggest that the two structurally surplus countries of Uganda and Ethiopia had above average harvest while Sudan’s production was below average. However, after incorporating domestic demand, Figure 2 shows that Ethiopia and Sudan will have below average surpluses, and that regional surpluses will also be below average despite above average total regional production. A significant import requirement is expected in South Sudan, which is expected to pull supplies from Sudan and Uganda. 

    • Although sorghum prices are expected to be above-average because of below average production in South Sudan, Sudan, the Somali region of Ethiopia and northern Somalia, price elevation will mostly be driven by high inflation, currency depreciation and domestic conflict. The rest of region is likely to have near average prices. 

    • The aggregate regional sorghum surplus for the 2018/19 MY is estimated to reach less than half of regional average levels. Given the below average surplus, market-based response activities of sorghum or any substitute commodities should consider the projected market and trade dynamics put forth in this report. Monitoring performance of upcoming harvests and macroeconomic issues (especially in Sudan and South Sudan) will be essential in 2019. 

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