Commodity trading at Busia cross border market was registered regular with approximately 100-200Mt of maize grain crossing daily. As usually majority of trade was rendered informal while a fraction went through Customs. The grain price gradually decline towards Midmonth. Maize was offered at Ugx.970/kg on the Ugandan side of the Busia border post. However, maize was offered at Ksh.25.5- 27/kg (Ugx.918-972/kg) depending on the quality on the Kenyan side. Most of the maize grain was destined for Nairobi and townships around central and western Kenya.
In the beans sector, supply to the market was limited due to the fact that traders were traveling long distances to acquire stock. Secondly, it is off season and preparations are under for planting. Those who follow the rain pattern have planted already. Nambale beans were sourced from Isingiro, Masaka, Kikagati while mixed beans from Kabale. Yellow and some Nambale beans were delivered from Tanzania via Mutukula. Other beans supply was registered from Rwanda via Rusoma border post.
Facilitation of beans market price was due to long distance travel to deliver supply given the off season nature. Yellow beans were offered at a range between Ksh.98-103/kg (Ugx.3528-3708/kg). Some Sugar beans delivered from Kabale cost Ksh.96/kg (Ugx.3456/kg) while supply from Rwanda cost Ksh.104/kg (Ugx.3744/kg) because of variation in quality. Mixed beans cost Ksh.59-65/kg (Ugx.2124-2340/kg). Red Wailimu beans were offered Ksh.60-67/kg (Ugx.2160-2412/kg) and Nambale beans at Ksh.78-81/kg (Ugx.2808-2916) wholesale price in Busia Produce traders market.
Several production locations received rainfall and were in preparations for planting beans and maize especially.
Dry cassava was also received from Tanzania to Kampala and Busia markets at Ksh.20/kg (Ugx.720) and due to a better quality from Tanzania, more quantities were purchased at Buisa. The central market in Kampala received more dry cassava from Mubende at a cheaper price. Good quality Sorghum and Millet were delivered to Busia from the northern region especially Lira, Gulu, Kitgum and Abim districts.
In the central region, the price for beans was registered high. In Kampala Yellow beans were preferred at Ugx.3800/kg, Nambale beans at Ugx.3600-3800/kg, Sugar beans (Masavu) were scarce and more costly at Ugx.4000/kg. Mixed beans were offered at Ugx.2500-2800/kg. The market price for beans increased drastically towards the end of the month. Yellow beans cost Ugx.4000-5000/kg depending on the quality. Good quality beans were delivered from Tanzania while old stocked beans were cheaper. Nambale beans were offered at Ugx.3800-4500/kg at wholesale level depending in the quality. Old stock beans namable were much cheaper. The supply of beans was limited due to restricted movement caused by the Covid 19 quarantine creating a very high demand for not only beans but all grain and pulses. A lot of speculation created huge demand for beans and other essential food items when the public dashed to the market to stock for the quarantine.
The maize grain in Kampala fluctuated at the opening of the month. In the opening week, maize was offered at Ugx.900-950/kg. It dropped to Ugx.750/kg in the following week. In the third week the grain price hiked to Ugx.1100/kg before the announcement of the quarantine. There was speculation that the market price would increase however, due to the presidential directive, the grain price stabilized at that price.
All commodity price increase spontaneously when the public dashed to stock for the quarantine. (See price spread sheet) This price hike was profound in the cities and townships compared the rural markets.
In the fresh items section, the flow of matooke from the western region continued throughout the month, however, reduced supply was registered towards the end of the month. Bunches were offloaded in different Kampala markets at Ugx.10, 000-20,000 depending on supply of the day and quality of supply (size). Plenty of fresh cassava and sweet potatoes were delivered to number of town markets. Heaps of sweet potatoes and cassava were offered at Ugx.1,000-2,000 depending on supply and quality. A lot of rice was delivered from Tanzania. On average a kilo of super rice was offered at Ugx.3800/kg retail price. It rose to Ugx.4000/kg towards the end of March. Other varieties such as Kaiso were much cheaper at retail price.