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East Africa Regional Sorghum Supply and Market Outlook

  • Supply and Market Outlook
  • East Africa
  • March 30, 2020
East Africa Regional Sorghum Supply and Market Outlook

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • This report summarizes the supply and market outlook for sorghum in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The analysis is for the 2019/20 marketing year (MY), spanning from October 2019 to September 2020 and covering two main harvests—2019/2020 October-to-February harvest the 2020 June-to-August harvest. The June-to-August harvest data are early estimates and may be updated as data becomes available. This analysis was completed in mid-March, prior to the arrival of COVID-19 in many countries in the region. Future analysis will take into consideration any related impacts on market dynamics.

    • Wheat, maize, rice and, and sorghum are important staple foods in East Africa. Domestic sorghum production contributes 40 to 75 percent of national food supply in Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan and 10 to 14 percent in Ethiopia and Uganda.

    • Recent sorghum harvests concluded in East Africa by January. Preliminary production estimates suggest that of the three structurally surplus countries Sudan had a below-average harvest, Uganda’s harvest was average, and Ethiopia’s production was well above average. After incorporating domestic demand, Ethiopia will have above-average surpluses while Sudan’s will have a below-average surplus. Regional surpluses will be 25 percent below average despite average total regional production. South Sudan’s substantial import gap is expected to be filled through supplies from Sudan and Uganda.  

    • Below-average production will contribute to above-average anticipated prices trends in South Sudan and Sudan, in the Somali region of Ethiopia and northern Somalia. However, these elevated prices are also largely driven by high inflation, currency depreciation, and domestic conflict. The rest of the region is likely to have near-average prices.

    • 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, ongoing macroeconomic issues, and any market reactions to COVID-19 will be essential in 2020.

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