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East Africa Regional Sorghum Supply and Market Outlook

  • Supply and Market Outlook
  • East Africa
  • March 18, 2021
East Africa Regional Sorghum Supply and Market Outlook

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Sorghum is an important staple food in East Africa. Domestic sorghum production makes important contributions to national food supply in Sudan, Somalia, and South Sudan (39, 54 and 76 percent, respectively), and smaller amounts in Ethiopia and Uganda (17 and 10 percent, respectively).

    • This report summarizes the supply and market outlook for sorghum in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. The outlook period follows the 2020/21 marketing year (MY), spanning from October 2020 to September 2021 and covering two main harvests—2020/2021 October-to-February harvest the 2021 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.

    • Preliminary production estimates suggest that the three structurally surplus countries of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda had 17, 14, and six percent above average harvests, respectively (Figure 1). Regional production will be 13 percent above the recent five-year average. After incorporating domestic demand, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda will have below-average surpluses respectively (Figure 2). However, the regional surplus will be 36 percent below average. Import requirements in South Sudan are expected to be above average, which is expected to pull supplies from Uganda, and, to a lesser extent, Sudan.

    • Prices are expected to be above average in Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia through September 2021 mostly be driven by high inflation, currency depreciation, and domestic conflict. Prices are expected to be average to slightly above average in Uganda due to high domestic and regional demand, and average to slightly above average in Somalia because of the availability of imported substitutes.

    • Given the below-average surplus, market-based response activities including sorghum, or any substitute commodities should consider the projected market and trade dynamics put forth in this report. Monitoring the performance of upcoming harvests and macroeconomic issues (especially in Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan) are essential in 2021.

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