Rice season market sets in with vagaries | Week 38

The average Super rice price on the local market was registered at Ugx.2700/kg at wholesale. Several varieties and qualities were offered from the local production locations as well as export. Apparently, the locally produced Super rice especially from Mbale and the eastern region was much more expensive than the imported Tanzanian Grade 1&2 rice at Ugx.2000-2600/kg depending on quality. Other cheaper grades of Super rice from Tanzania were offered cheaper at wholesale.

Uganda is estimated to produce 220,000MT of rice (2019 Production Data) and much of it is consumed locally. It is also estimated that the previous yield was much lower than the estimated volume due to consequences of the weather effect which excite the market price higher. According to Tridge, a global sourcing hub of food and agriculture, Tanzania exported 214.077MT worth Ugx.252.9b (USD72.26M) to Uganda for the year 2020 leaving only 0.4% of its rice exports to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. Tanzanian rice was recorded at an export price to Uganda at USD 337.50/MT an equivalent of Ugx.1196/kg before taxation.

The distribution of rice throughout the EAC region was remarkable that trailers loaded with rice were evidently seen in the remote town centres in the countryside. Currently the Tanzanian super rice is cheaper than the locally produced Ugandan rice at Ugx.2800-3000/kg retail price. The market price has further been affected by adulteration of rice where the Uganda trading community thrive to increase it margins. Super rice is identified by its aroma which is much preferred by the consumers although compromised by the presence of foreign material and broken grain.

NOTE: The price of export quality rice from other producers such as India and Pakistan was registered at a high price not comparable to the current Grade One and Two from Tanzania. However, Tanzania produces prime quality rice such as Magugu rice which has not found market in Uganda.

The Tanzanian supply has contributed to the stable regional food prices especially in Uganda containing the market price that should have been much higher due to reduction in food production for most staple foods as a result of dry weather consequences experienced.

In Gulu, Super rice cost Ugx.2800/kg indicating that the harvest was not good. In Soroti, a concentration of Super rice production, it was offered at Ugx.2700/kg. It was equally expensive in Mbale and Tororo at Ugx.3000/kg. Lira offered Super rice cheaper at Ugx.2500/kg

Trading at Busia thrived on beans where only an estimated 300-500MT of beans were recorded daily. Yellow beans were demanded at Ugx.2254/kg (Ksh.70) while Rosecoco and Short Nambale cost Ugx.2028-2060/kg (Ksh.63-64). Long Nambale cost Ugx.1932/kg (Ksh.60), Wailimu at Ugx.1771/kg (Ksh.55), Mixed beans, commonly known as Omusingiriro cost Ugx.1288/kg (Ksh.40). Other commodities demanded at Busia included Millet at Ugx.2584/kg(Ksh.80), Sorghum at Ugx.1127/kg (Ksh.35), Cassava chips at Ugx.772/kg (Ksh.24), Groundnuts and Simsim at Ugx.4765/kg (Ksh.140) and Soya bean at Ugx.3091/kg (Ksh.96).

Kampala markets started receiving newly harvested beans presumably from wetlands and swamps at a higher price compared to the previous seasonal harvest beans. Yellow beans cost between Ugx.2350-2600/kg at wholesale, Nambale cost Ugx.1800-2500/kg depending on quality while Mixed beans were cheaper at Ugx.1500-1700/kg. The maize price in Kampala declined slightly from Ugx.1100/kg to 1040-1050/kg at wholesale. The grain price is slated to increase until the second seasonal harvest expected in December.

Download this week’s Price Outlook (20th – 25th September) for the detailed prices of individual commodities in the different regions of Uganda.

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