East Africa cross-border trade bulletin for January 2024

January 2024

The Market Analysis Sub-group of the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG) monitors informal cross-border trade of 88 food commodities and livestock in eastern Africa in order to quantify the impact on regional food security. This bulletin summarizes informal trade across selected borders of Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, and DRC. Recent updates indicate that:

  • In the fourth quarter of 2023, dry beans and maize accounted for 27 and 16 percent of the major local staple foods traded in the region, which was different from the previous quarter in which maize and sorghum accounted for 27 and 10 percent of the trade, respectively. This was attributed to a significant destruction of crops in the deficit countries, especially Kenya, by the El Niño enhanced rainfall, leading to trade levels above the previous year and five-year average.
  • The amount of maize traded was lower than last year and the recent five-year average because of El Niño-related ample rains that led to above-average production across Kenya, parts of South Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi, reducing shortfalls and imports for these countries. For sorghum, the amount traded was also lower than last year and average levels due to conflict-related disruptions of supply from Sudan and expectations of El Niño-induced drought and below-average harvest in parts of Ethiopia.
  • Livestock trade was higher than the previous quarter and average level as traders rushed to acquire livestock for fattening for re-exports to the Middle East during the religious festivities that start in March.
  • Staple commodity prices are projected to be lower than last year, attributed to increased supply due to El Niño enhanced rainfall, but above the recent five-year average stemming from high production and fuel costs.
Tags: FSNWG , Food Security , Cross-Border Trade