Maize grain tending to its peak | Week 24

person holding corn on its plant

 The maize price in Kampala-Kisenyi dry grain market increased greatly from Ugx.770/kg to Ugx.850-880/kg due to scarcity. The lock down has excited the market price. The grain price hit Ugx.1000/kg but was only calmed down by supply from Tanzania. It is also that time of the year when commodity prices get to their peak a few weeks before the first seasonal harvest.

The yield is expected low compared to the last two years’ production where adequate and above normal rainfall was received in several areas. The weather was not good between the months of March to May when planting was going on. The rainfall was sparsely distributed and in some locations it came late.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had adverse effects on the farming community countrywide. Low commodity prices were registered for several staples during the pandemic period which discouraged commercial farmers into investing in the present season. However, as the cycle of commodity prices goes, production is the major driver of price because the farming community has never optimized production.

It is therefore forecasted that the seasonal harvest will wind up quickly and high commodity prices follow shortly until the next harvest season at the end of the year. Regional supply from Tanzania, Congo, Malawi and Rwanda will continue subsiding the general price levels depending on their supply.

 Brisk produce trading was reported at the Uganda/Kenya border posts especially at Busia. Several transit traders turned up demanding for commodities such as beans, maize ,millet ,sorghum, cassava, groundnuts to mention a few.

Less than 100Mt of dry maize grain was traded during the week. Maize grain was off season and therefore the market price is expected to increase to its highest before breaking into the first year harvest. Business went on throughout the week including Sundays. Speculation had it that the Kenyan population was preparing for elections in the short run and that campaigns were going on which situation has excited trading community to stock for the uncertain electoral period. Maize is currently scarce at the production locations and the grain price on the rise.

An estimated 1500Mt were sorted and bagged destined for Kenya. Most border post traders at Busia and Malaba invested in stocking beans due to high demand for the same from Kenya. The bean price fluctuated and wasn’t stable by the day.

A number of bean varieties were delivered to the border produce market. Yellow beans cost Ksh.60-65/kg, Nambale at Ksh.49-50/kg, Mixed beans at Ksh.40/kg, Wailimu beans at Ksh.48/kg, Rosecoco beans at Ksh.58/kg, green beans at Ksh.66/kg and Sugar beans at Ksh.63/kg.

Maize price fluctuated between Ksh.27-28/kg at the same border market. There was less activity in the grain sector mainly because maize is offseason. The first grain seasonal harvest is expected on the market anytime from now. A lot of hoarding of crop is expected by the rural transit traders given less yield in the first seasonal harvest.

Most regions have harvested their beans apart from the northern region which out sourced its supply from the South from areas such as Hoima, Masindi and Kampala. Bean prices are at their lowest due to adequate supply but the demand for beans has been affected by Covid 19 speculations.

In the Tomato section, a box ply weighing 110-120 kilos was offered at Ugx.150,000-200,000 depending on supply of the day. Green pepper was expensive at Ugx.200,000-250,000 a bag full. Passion fruit price declined to Ugx.600,000 for a sack of “Masaka” passion while the yellow “Kasese” passion as known by the market cost Ugx.300,000.

Download this Weekly Market Bulletin of week 24 (14th– 19th June) for a detailed retail price outlook of these individual commodities in the different regions of Uganda.

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