This year’s first maize grain harvest season has notably started at a high price which speculators have come up with conclusions. The season was highly affected by the dry weather spell experienced earlier during the first and second quarter of the year. Although the current Covid -19 pandemic affected the consumption rate leading to low demand for maize grain and other staples in earlier weeks of the lockdown. The market is registering higher prices compared to last year’s season. The expected crop yield is estimated to have dropped to less than 30% – 50% in the usual production locations.
Reports from insecure food locations such as Karamoja are most likely facing tough food inadequacy because they expect no or less yield this year. However, the situation was different in some parts of the Western region where normal to above normal rains were received and the season is expected good, such as Kabarole, Kagadi, Kyenjojo and Hoima districts.
Maize in Kampala registered the same price for the second consecutive week at Ugx.800-830/kg for newly harvested maize grain which is very unusual at the start of the season. In Mubende and Masindi which are maize production concentration areas, it started at a higher price of Ugx.700/kg compared to Ugx.400-500/kg. This situation is very similar for Busoga region which usually delivers maize supply during this season. Farmers who planted early seem to have yielded more grain compared to the ones that waited for the calendar rainy season.
Good quality grain was received at Busia Produce Border market. The dry weather has speedily improved the quality of the newly harvested maize. Less than 200MT of maize grain daily was recorded at Busia. Maize was received from Central, Busoga regions and part of Western region specifically. Good quality maize was purchased at Ugx.847/kg (Ksh.26/kg) while the least acceptable quality at Ugx.831/kg (Ksh.25.5/kg). Most of the maize from Uganda was destined for Ukamba i.e. Central Kenya. Maize was registered much higher in the northern region than other regions indicating that the harvest season is soon beginning.
Reports speculatively indicate that some grain farmers were disappointed by the low maize grain price offered last season and therefore transferred to beans production resulting into a bumper harvest this season. The beans price in most markets has been driven to as low as Ugx.800-1000/kg at wholesale in the production locations such as Kabarole, Kyegegwa, Hoima, Mubende, Mbarara and Masaka.
Gradually increasing beans prices were recorded on the market generally. In Kampala, sugar beans (Masavu) were offered expensively at Ugx.2500-2600/kg wholesale price. Other varieties were much cheaper with Nambale Short, Yellow beans and Army green beans at Ugx.2200-2300/kg while Long Nambale, White and Rosecoco (Kahuura) cost Ugx. 2000-2100/kg at wholesale. Mixed beans cost Ugx.1150/kg. In Kampala, less beans purchases were registered.
Volumes traded at the Border produce market in Busia declined slightly to 900MT daily. When the price for beans increased higher than the Busia price, traders opted to supply in Kampala. However the trend is changing leading to improved supply to Busia. Yellow beans cost Ugx.2157/kg (Ksh.66/kg), Nambale cost Ugx.2053/kg (Ksh.63/kg), Sugar beans at Ugx.2119/kg (Ksh.65/kg), Rosecoco at Ugx.2249/kg (Ksh.69/kg), Mixed beans at Ugx.1434/kg (Ksh.44/kg). Red Wailimu cost Ugx.1776/kg (Ksh.54.5) and Army green beans cost Ugx.2086/kg (Ksh.64/kg).
There was no millet received from Ethiopia during this week. However, the market continues to adulterate millet and offered it at Ugx.3194/kg (Ksh.98). Pure newly harvested millet was offered at Ugx.3912/kg (Ksh.120/kg) but still scarce. Red sorghum was offered Ksh.40/kg while cassava chips at Ugx.586/kg (Ksh.18/kg), Soya bean at Ugx.2542/kg (Ksh.78/kg ), Green grams cost Ugx.2282/kg (Ksh.70/kg), Ground nuts at Ugx.4629/kg (Ksh.142/kg) and Simsim at Ugx.4596/kg (Ksh.141/kg). Traders indicated that the first harvest season was low especially millet and maize. In the Northern region, beans cost Ugx.1800-2500/kg.
A box of tomatoes in Kampala markets cost Ugx.200,000 while a sack of purple passion fruit usually from Masaka cost Ugx.450,000-500,000. The price of green pepper fluctuated between Ugx.150,000 and 200,000 weighing 150Kgs.
Download this week’s Price Outlook (12th – 17thJuly) for the detailed prices of individual commodities in the different regions of Uganda.