Maize price takes a dive.

September 5, 2018

The demand for maize and its products has declined in the past few weeks. The grain price in Kampala fell from Ugx.430/kg to Ugx.380-400/kg. Likewise the maize flour price declined from Ugx.1000/kg to Ugx.960/kg. Currently a 50kgs bag goes for Ugx.48, 000 in Kisenyi market.

Speculation has it that as farmers continue to wait for government to purchase their grain at Ugx.500/kg, desperacy to acquire school fees for the returning students in a fortnight continues to weigh in on farmers.

This perhaps explains the declining maize price in most major markets. In Iganga it was sold at Ugx.330/kg, while in Mubende at Ugx.320/kg, Kiboga/Kyankwanzi at Ugx.300/kg and it was at its lowest in Masindi at Ugx.200/kg.

Apparently at Busia regional border market grain trading was slowed down due to introduction of the Single entry clearance system on the Kenyan side. Traders were gradually adapting to the new system, however, others opted to use Malaba route where COMESA regulation is applied instead.

An estimated 400Mt of grain was exported informally indicating stable supply of grain Kenya. Ugandan maize is still cheaper or the cheapest in the region.  A slight reduction in price was observed at Busia grain market where it was bought at Ksh.12.5/kg (Ugx.462).

Most of the known maize growing areas have planted or are in the process of planting for the 2nd season. In fact others are at a stage of 1st weeding and yet a lot maize grain is still held in several stores.

Unfortunately most major grain buyers are not buying any maize because they are stack full. It is likely that September will be associated with low commodity prices. There is no market for maize currently.

This season is peculiar in that as stock piles lay in stores, planting is going, however, it is very likely that maize production in the 2nd season will be low due to the current trend. The current season is one of the unfortunate one that periodically surfaces and should be avoided by farmers if they observe the market trends for the last 18 years. Data is available with Farmgain Africa and other MIS systems.

In the input sector, the granule fertilizer sales and prices have slightly increased at wholesale level due to increased demand as the 2nd planting season starts. A 50 kilo bag of DAP in particular increased by Ugx.5,000 in Kampala’s Container Village, an agro input one stop centre. Stockists from the countryside bought a number of items for their farmer clientele in the rural areas. Other products that were demanded included NPK, Urea and CAN.

Supply of beans to the market declined and registered increasing market price in different locations. In Kampala the preferred yellow and Short Nambale beans increased to Ugx.1800-2000/kg at wholesale depending on quality.

Large Nambale beans were being phased out as observed in the central region markets. According to consumers taste and preferences, Short Nambale (Nabe1) produces a lighter colour soup and cooks faster just like the yellow beans.

Farmgain Africa.

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