Rush for Food as lockdown bites in | Week 25

There was a rush in Kampala and other locations to stock enough food through the “Covid 19 Second Lockdown” that is expected to last 42 days which spiked demand for most food stuffs. Several city dwellers packed up stuff and left for their home villages leading to sporadic purchase for dry foods to accompany the fleeing population. The situation sent most commodity prices especially the ones not harvested for the first year’s season up. Plenty of maize stocked in the previous seasons registered low price during the offseason period. However, the price hiked to Ugx.1000/kg and was only forced low by the supply from Tanzania via Mutukula. It later declined to Ugx.850/kg in Kampala due to the above supply. However, the quality delivered from Tanzania was not good but met scarcity generally. The grain price has continually been controlled by the above supply.

As the first season harvest is slated to start soon, the yield in several production regions is expected very low due to unreliable rain and dry spells. It’s been forecasted that the grain price will not fall to the usual law and speculators have suggested that the season might open at a high price of Ugx.600-700/kg.

There was mention of maize grain harvest in Iganga but there was no price for the newly harvested maize. Dry old stock maize in Iganga cost Ugx.1000/kg. Elsewhere, in Masaka there was no offer for maize at the usual stores, in Tororo it cost Ugx.950/kg, Kamwenge at Ugx.750-800/kg and Kapchorwa at Ugx.900/kg.

Less than 200Mt of maize grain were traded during the past week indicating low activity in the grain section at Busia Produce border market. Good quality maize cost Ksh.29/kg (Ugx.948) while fair quality cost Ksh.28.5/kg (Ugx.931). The least acceptable quality cost Ksh.27/kg (Ugx.882).

In the fresh commodity market, green pepper was very expensive and scarce and a big sack cost Ugx.400,000. Likewise, passion fruits registered a limited supply and ‘purple passion’ from Masaka cost Ugx.600,000 per bag while the yellow passion from Kasese cost Ugx.350,000 per bag.

The harvest rain fed season for tomatoes is on and plenty of tomatoes were registered in most markets. A ‘box ply’ full weighing approximately 120kgs cost Ugx.150,000. Since the season has just started, the market price is expected to drop as supply intensifies. With the current lockdown, it is anticipated to fall even lower than usual probably Ugx.50,000 per box due to low demand. Regular supply of sweet potatoes and cassava was also registered in Kampala.

The beans market in Kampala increased gradually. However, there was less purchasing from a few city dwellers since there is restriction on movement. In Owino and other sizeable markets, white beans were more costly at Ugx.3000-3500/kg at retail. Nambaale Long (Nabe 4) cost Ugx.2200-2300/kg at retail, Short Nambaale cost Ugx.2400-2500/kg while Yellow beans cost Ugx.2600/kg at retail. Other commodities that were highly demanded in Owino market included Millet, Groundnuts and Soya beans. Mixed beans were reported cheapest at Ugx.1200/kg. In Kyenjojo, the beans harvest has since enrolled and Yellow beans cost Ugx.1500/kg while Short Nambaale cost Ugx.1300/kg wholesale. The quality was good and a good harvest expected. K132 beans also known as Kabulangiti cost Ugx.800/kg. Other commodities currently harvested included groundnuts and a half sack of unshelled groundnuts weighing 40kgs cost Ugx.110,000. Shelled groundnuts cost Ugx.4500/kg wholesale.

Harvesting continued elsewhere and beans prices recorded low. In Tororo beans cost Ugx.1600-2200/kg. In Masaka there was very low demand and Short Nambale cost Ugx.1600/kg while Yellow cost Ugx.1500/kg, Nambale cost Ugx.1600/kg wholesale price. There was plenty of food offered for sale in major markets countrywide. However, there was low purchasing power from the public/consumers. In Iganga, regulated supply of beans was registered on the market indicating that the beans harvest is yet to take place fully.

Download this Weekly Market Bulletin of week 25 (21st– 26th June) for more information plus a detailed wholesale price outlook of the individual commodities.

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