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East Africa Cross Border Trade Bulletin (July 2021, Volume 34)

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• Maize grain was the main commodity traded in the region between January and March (first quarter of 2021) followed by sorghum and rice as shown in Figure 1.

• Regional cross border trade for most commodities increased seasonably across most countries from the previous quarter because of increased supply from the June harvest, and slight improvement in availability of hard currency in South Sudan. Regional trade was directed at filling gaps in supply and demand in the structural deficit countries of Kenya, South Sudan, Somali, Rwanda, and Burundi.

• Livestock volumes traded in the region in the second quarter were significantly lower that the recent five-year average levels because of coronavirus-related restrictions on large gatherings in domestic markets and low-key July-to-August Hajj without foreign pilgrims that usually attracts significant supply from East Africa.

• Staple food commodity parity price trends (expressed in US dollars per MT) followed seasonal trends during the second quarter of 2021. Prices remained high in Burundi, South Sudan, and Ethiopia relative to historical levels because of high inflation. Prices trends are expected to vary across the region in the next nine months, trending seasonably.