Rwanda is slated to import more rice from neighbouring Tanzania according to forecast by a trade tracker.
Tanzania projects to export to Rwanda 60,000 tonnes of locally produced rice and 84,000 tonnes to Kenya
According to the East Africa Cross-border Trade (EACT), Tanzania’s trade volume will be boosted by supplies from the August harvest and high carry-over stocks, which are likely to lower prices.
The low rice prices are due to lower maize flour cost which is a substitute staple food to rice.
Despite trade disputes, Kenya is still Tanzania’s main market for rice followed closely by Rwanda.
Meanwhile, The EastAfrican reported that maize continued to be the most regionally traded commodity in the region. Towards the end of last year, maize prices in most markets in East Africa declined due to increased harvests.
In the months after the August harvest, maize prices usually drop to lows of $20 per 90kg bag, even as the October long rain season boosts the second-season harvest.
Maize prices in Burundi remain persistently high, being the most costly in the region, whereas the grain was fetching the lowest cost in Ethiopia due to the low cost of production.
The low cost of maize sent Ethiopian traders to Kenya, selling more maize last year than the previous years. Maize is the most traded commodity across the region, followed by dry beans, rice and sorghum.
Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia are the main sources of maize, but in September last year Kenya sold the grain to Uganda even as the country was importing it from Mexico to plug a severe shortage. Maize prices had fallen after the end of a long dry spell.