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WTO Forecasts Africa’s Export Surge Amid Global Trade Recovery in 2024

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WTO Forecasts Africa’s Export Surge Amid Global Trade Recovery in 2024

According to the latest trade outlook from the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Africa is poised to experience the fastest export growth rate globally in 2024, with a projected increase of 5.3%. This surge in exports is expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels, reflecting a positive trajectory for the continent’s trade dynamics.

Despite the promising export outlook, Africa has faced challenges in import levels, which have lagged due to higher energy and commodity prices. Between 2019 and 2023, imports on the continent experienced a decline of 5%, marking the sharpest decrease worldwide. This disparity between export growth and import decline has implications for consumption and income across Africa.

The report highlights the expansion of digital goods exports in Africa, albeit from a relatively small base, accounting for only 0.9% of total exports in this category. Globally, digital services trade witnessed a robust growth of 9% in 2023, reaching $4.25 trillion, representing a significant portion of global goods and services exports.

However, the trade outlook also underscores several risks to global trade growth. Geopolitical uncertainties, including policy shifts and conflicts in regions such as Europe and the Middle East, pose challenges to global supply chains. Additionally, climate change impacts, particularly in critical waterways like the Panama Canal, could disrupt trade flows.

Specifically, the report identifies trade disruptions in the Suez Canal as a potential risk in 2024, given its significance in global trade routes. The recent blockage in the canal led to increased freight costs and highlighted vulnerabilities in global logistics networks. Moreover, the forecast points to a potential spike in food and energy prices, alongside elevated interest rates in advanced economies, as factors that could hinder global trade recovery.

Despite these challenges, the WTO remains cautiously optimistic about global trade growth, projecting a 2.6% increase in 2023 and a further uptick to 3.3% in 2024, following a contraction of -1.2% in the previous year. However, addressing the identified risks will be crucial for sustaining and accelerating the resurgence of global trade.

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Reimagining Africa’s Economic Growth: Insights from Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, emphasized the imperative for Africa to bolster trade and investment in value-added goods and services to stimulate economic expansion. Speaking at BusinessDay’s Africa Trade and Investment Summit, themed ‘Reimagining Economic Growth in Africa,’ she underscored the need for an enabling external environment and a predictable internal economy to drive this transformation.

Okonjo-Iweala highlighted that African businesses face significant trade costs, equivalent to a 354 percent tariff among the world’s cheapest, hindering their competitiveness. Additionally, intra-African trade faces trade costs equivalent to a 435 percent tariff, underlining the challenges within the continent. To overcome these barriers and accelerate growth, she stressed the importance of increasing trade and investment in value-added goods and services.

Despite Africa’s underperformance, accounting for only three percent of global trade, Okonjo-Iweala sees potential for growth by shifting focus from raw materials and commodities to value-added products. She emphasized the necessity of reimagining global trade and investment, capitalizing on Africa’s growing young population and regional integration through initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Highlighting the opportunities presented by the rapid growth in services, particularly in tech-savvy sectors like fintech, Okonjo-Iweala emphasized the need for more supply and value chains in Africa to integrate into global production networks. Successful re-globalization, she argued, would enhance growth, job creation, and supply resilience.

Okonjo-Iweala stressed the importance of a supportive external environment and an open and predictable internal economy for African countries to achieve these goals. She called for agreements that would facilitate this process and encouraged investors to diversify their portfolios to include African markets.

In his welcome address, Frank Aigbogun, Publisher of BusinessDay Media, echoed the sentiment of Nigeria and Africa being at a crossroads, emphasizing the need to focus on actionable steps to realize their potential. He underscored the importance of giving hope to the people by fostering economic growth and development across the continent.

Overall, Okonjo-Iweala’s insights shed light on the challenges and opportunities for Africa’s economic growth, emphasizing the need for strategic initiatives and partnerships to unlock its full potential on the global stage.

grain

Grain Industry Insights in Africa

The grain industry is a cornerstone of food security in Africa, serving as a staple for millions across the continent. With a burgeoning population and socioeconomic transformations, understanding the volume of grain production and consumption is pivotal for ensuring the resilience of food systems in Africa. The data obtained from IndexBox shows that the largest countries in terms of grain consumption in Africa in 2022 were Egypt (38.117 M tons), Nigeria (32.168 M tons), Ethiopia (31.605 M tons), Algeria (22.505 M tons), and South Africa (16.769 M tons).

Volume of Grain Production

When it comes to grain production, Ethiopia led the charts with 30.179 M tons, followed closely by Nigeria with 29.647 M tons. Egypt held the third position with 22.385 M tons, while South Africa and Tanzania produced 19.153 M tons and 11.311 M tons, respectively. These figures suggest that while some African countries have robust production capacities, others are still largely dependent on imports to meet their grain demands.

Most Popular Types of Grain

Maize (corn), wheat, and rice are among the most popular grains cultivated and consumed on the African continent. Maize, adaptable to various climates, is widely grown across sub-Saharan Africa. Wheat is prevalent in North African countries, where bread and other wheat-based foods are dietary staples. Rice consumption is also significant, particularly in West African nations, given its ease of integration into traditional dishes. The volumes of these grains, however, fluctuate annually due to factors like climate variability and market forces.

Drivers of Market Growth and Limitations

Economic development, population growth, and urbanization are key drivers of market growth in Africa’s grain industry. As more people move to cities, the demand for processed and convenient food items, many of which are grain-based, rises. However, growth is not without its limitations. Poor infrastructure, fluctuating climatic conditions, and limited access to technology hinder production capabilities. Policies aiming at improving agricultural practices, investment in storage and transport infrastructure, and the development of more climate-resistant crop varieties can potentially mitigate some of these challenges.

Dependency on Grain Imports

Africa’s reliance on grain imports is significant. In 2022, Algeria was the largest grain importer with 18.916 M tons, followed by Egypt (15.737 M tons), Morocco (8.779 M tons), Libya (3.484 M tons), and Tunisia (3.443 M tons). These import volumes highlight a substantial dependence on foreign grain supplies, due in part to insufficient domestic production to meet the demand.

Regarding the financial aspect of imports, in 2022, Egypt spent the most on grain imports, reaching a total of 6.308 billion USD. Algeria’s import value amounted to 4.606 billion USD, Morocco’s to 3.638 billion USD, Nigeria’s to 2.276 billion USD, and Tunisia’s to 1.469 billion USD.

Challenges of Import Reliance

Reliance on imports can pose multiple challenges, such as vulnerability to global market fluctuations and trade policies of exporting countries. Trade restrictions, supply chain disruptions, and logistics issues are tangible problems that can jeopardize food security in import-dependent African countries. Furthermore, currency fluctuations can significantly impact the affordability of grain imports. Additionally, reliance on a diversified set of countries for grain imports can be both a strength and a liability, as it exposes nations to varying geopolitical risks that can affect supply chains.

Conclusion

The grain industry in Africa is marked by contrasting scenarios of production capacities and import dependencies. While countries like Ethiopia and Nigeria showcase substantial production volumes, others continue to rely heavily on imports to feed their populations. The complex interplay of factors contributing to market growth and limitations underscores the need for strategic policy development aimed at enhancing self-sufficiency and mitigating the potential risks associated with import reliance. Efforts to build robust agricultural systems in Africa are essential to ensure the long-term sustainability and security of the continent’s grain supply.

Source: IndexBox Market Intelligence Platform  

african

African Free Trade Area Presents Opportunity and Obstacles Ahead

The African continent is on the cusp of long-term economic opportunity thanks to the inception of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into effect in January 2021. The AfCFTA could boost Africa’s growth potential as the agreement intends to liberalize trade across Africa over the next few years. It provides optimism for a region that has been hit hard by the pandemic.

The impact of the pandemic has been uneven across African economies, with some suffering from severe economic contractions, while others managed to record small growth rates. The post-pandemic outlook differs from country-to-country, but most are subject to high uncertainty due to the rise in infections and the slow vaccination process. In the long run, the AfCFTA could be pivotal in Africa’s growth potential as the agreement foresees fundamental freedom of trade in Africa in the next few years.

The agreement has the potential to accelerate African growth rates after the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent economic outlook report for the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region from trade credit insurer Atradius.


Early optics reveal uneven results

While long-term results of the implementation of the AfCFTA, the immediate optics are not looking promising for most countries. Some challenges have to be overcome before the AfCFTA is successfully implemented and countries can reap the benefits. In the short run, protectionist tendencies, insufficient capacity to expand cross-border infrastructure, political instability and weak government finances, among other things hinder a full implementation of the agreement.

The AfCFTA’s full implementation has a long way to go, with several countries needing to first establish the necessary customs infrastructure and required procedures to trade. Countries that already have action plans and customs procedures in place, as well as relatively low barriers to trade with other African countries, will likely see success early on. So far, only Egypt, Ghana and South Africa have accomplished the necessary customs infrastructure. Countries that are likely to benefit the most are those with relatively open and diversified economies and well-established trade links, like South Africa. This also applies to other regional trading hubs such as Kenya, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire.

Economies emerge from harsh COVID effects

Last year’s economic contraction of 1% was the lowest ever witnessed in the region and was stark in comparison to average annual growth of 4.3% since 2010. COVID-19 hit African countries with a drop in trade, lower commodity prices, fewer tourist arrivals, lower remittances and lower foreign investments. Additionally, many countries introduced strict lockdowns in the beginning of the pandemic that hurt domestic economic activity.

Thankfully, 2021 has seen a recovery in the global economy and higher commodity prices, supporting the economic recovery in Africa. Economic growth is expected to reach 1.3% this year. A recovery that is quite moderate, especially in comparison to other regions in the world. Reasons for this are the limited room for government support and the slow vaccine distribution. Similar to other parts of the world, many African governments supported their economies resulting in high budget deficits and an increase in public debt. Now, many face high debt levels that will limit further support and even constrain public investments over the next few years. Therefore, many countries are not expected to return to their pre-pandemic growth figures. The economic outlook is also uncertain due the continued spread of COVID-19 coupled with the slow vaccination process.

Uneven recovery underway for Sub-Saharan Africa

While there is an economic recovery underway for SSA, it will be slow and mostly uneven throughout the region. Oil exporting countries, hit hard by the pandemic, like Nigeria and Angola, will see a particularly slow recovery. Small island economies dependent on tourism, like Mauritius, which recorded deep recessions last year will likely see one of the highest economic growth figures in Africa this year. However, this is still uncertain, as it depends on the expected gradual recovery in tourism.

The more diversified economies fared relatively well through the pandemic and will have a strong economic recovery. Countries such as Kenya, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire recorded a small contraction or even a positive economic growth last year and are among the top performers.

Opportunities for the region could be on the horizon in the form of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Although in the short term there is much to overcome, once it reaches full implementation on the longer term, it is set to benefit several African economies.

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Afke Zeilstra is a senior economist for Atradius

chicken meat

Africa’s Chicken Meat Market to Reach 11M Tonnes by 2030

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Africa – Chicken Meat – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the chicken meat market in Africa amounted to $11.4B in 2018, jumping by 6.1% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

The market value increased at an average annual rate of +1.8% over the period from 2013 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 when the market value increased by 8% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the chicken meat market reached its peak figure level in 2018 and is likely to see steady growth in the near future.

Consumption by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of chicken meat consumption in 2018 were South Africa (2.1M tonnes), Egypt (1.1M tonnes) and Morocco (720K tonnes), with a combined 52% share of total consumption. Angola, Algeria, Ghana, Libya, Nigeria, Malawi, Tunisia, Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 27%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of chicken meat consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Malawi, while chicken meat consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest chicken meat markets in Africa were South Africa ($3.3B), Egypt ($1.8B) and Morocco ($1.1B), together accounting for 54% of the total market. Nigeria, Angola, Malawi, Libya, Ghana, Tunisia, Algeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congo lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 24%.

The countries with the highest levels of chicken meat per capita consumption in 2018 were Libya (39 kg per person), South Africa (36 kg per person) and Congo (23 kg per person).

Market Forecast to 2030

Driven by increasing demand for chicken meat in Africa, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next decade. Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +3.1% for the period from 2018 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 11M tonnes by the end of 2030.

Production in Africa

In 2018, the amount of chicken meat produced in Africa totaled 5.7M tonnes, surging by 4.2% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.4% over the period from 2013 to 2018. The general positive trend in terms of chicken meat output was largely conditioned by a moderate expansion of the number of producing animals and a relatively flat trend pattern in yield figures.

Production By Country in Africa

The countries with the highest volumes of chicken meat production in 2018 were South Africa (1.8M tonnes), Egypt (1.1M tonnes) and Morocco (720K tonnes), with a combined 62% share of total production. Algeria, Nigeria, Malawi, Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Sudan and Mozambique lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 21%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of chicken meat production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Malawi, while chicken meat production for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in Africa

In 2018, approx. 1.9M tonnes of chicken meat were imported in Africa; picking up by 23% against the previous year. In value terms, chicken meat imports amounted to $1.9B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, chicken meat imports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2018 when imports increased by 21% against the previous year. The level of imports peaked at $2B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, imports remained at a lower figure.

Imports by Country

Angola (432K tonnes) and South Africa (370K tonnes) represented the major importers of chicken meat in 2018, accounting for near 23% and 20% of total imports, respectively. Ghana (213K tonnes) ranks next in terms of the total imports with a 12% share, followed by Libya (6.6%), Congo (6.2%) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (5.8%). Benin (77K tonnes), Gabon (67K tonnes), Egypt (45K tonnes) and Guinea (37K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Guinea, while imports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Angola ($465M), South Africa ($372M) and Ghana ($188M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, together accounting for 53% of total imports. Libya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Egypt, Benin, Gabon and Guinea lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 31%.

Import Prices by Country

The chicken meat import price in Africa stood at $1,038 per tonne in 2018, approximately reflecting the previous year. Overall, the chicken meat import price continues to indicate a pronounced decline. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 an increase of 9.1% against the previous year. The level of import price peaked at $1,266 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, import prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Egypt ($1,705 per tonne), while Congo ($835 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by South Africa, while the other leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

grain

Grain Consumption in Africa Continues Rising

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Africa – Grain – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the grain market in Africa amounted to $109B in 2018, picking up by 9% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

The market value increased at an average annual rate of +1.4% over the period from 2014 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed in certain years.

Consumption By Country

The countries with the highest volumes of grain consumption in 2018 were Egypt (44M tonnes), Nigeria (31M tonnes) and Ethiopia (26M tonnes), together comprising 37% of total consumption. These countries were followed by Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania, Mali, Sudan, Kenya, Niger and Tunisia, which together accounted for a further 38%.

Market Forecast to 2030

Driven by increasing demand for grain in Africa, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next decade. Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +2.5% for the period from 2018 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 366M tonnes by the end of 2030.

Production in Africa

The grain production totaled 201M tonnes in 2018, increasing by 1.6% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +1.5% from 2014 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations being observed throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 with an increase of 6.7% against the previous year. The volume of grain production peaked in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the near future. The general positive trend in terms of grain output was largely conditioned by a slight increase of the harvested area and a relatively flat trend pattern in yield figures.

Production by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of grain production in 2018 were Nigeria (26M tonnes), Ethiopia (25M tonnes) and Egypt (22M tonnes), together accounting for 37% of total production. South Africa, Morocco, Tanzania, Mali, Sudan, Niger, Algeria, Burkina Faso and Kenya lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 37%.

Harvested Area and Yield in Africa

In 2018, the grain harvested area in Africa amounted to 125M ha, remaining relatively unchanged against the previous year. The average yield of grain in Africa stood at 1.6 tonne per ha, flattening at the previous year.

Exports in Africa

In 2018, the grain exports in Africa stood at 2.3M tonnes, growing by 14% against the previous year. In value terms, grain exports stood at $720M (IndexBox estimates).

Exports by Country

South Africa represented the largest exporter of grain exported in Africa, with the volume of exports accounting for 1.2M tonnes, which was near 52% of total exports in 2018. Uganda (471K tonnes) took the second position in the ranking, distantly followed by Tanzania (212K tonnes) and Zambia (144K tonnes). All these countries together occupied near 36% share of total exports. Kenya (70K tonnes), Sudan (46K tonnes) and Burkina Faso (44K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

Exports from South Africa decreased at an average annual rate of -17.0% from 2014 to 2018. At the same time, Kenya (+64.3%), Uganda (+37.8%), Tanzania (+32.4%), Zambia (+10.8%) and Sudan (+3.6%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Kenya emerged as the fastest-growing exporter exported in Africa, with a CAGR of +64.3% from 2014-2018. By contrast, Burkina Faso (-10.3%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. Uganda (+15 p.p.), Tanzania (+6.2 p.p.), Kenya (+2.6 p.p.) and Zambia (+2.1 p.p.) significantly strengthened its position in terms of the total exports, while South Africa saw its share reduced by -57.6% from 2014 to 2018, respectively. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, South Africa ($407M) remains the largest grain supplier in Africa, comprising 56% of total grain exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Uganda ($94M), with a 13% share of total exports. It was followed by Tanzania, with a 10% share.

In South Africa, grain exports plunged by an average annual rate of -13.9% over the period from 2014-2018. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Uganda (+27.8% per year) and Tanzania (+32.0% per year).

Imports in Africa

In 2018, approx. 73M tonnes of grain were imported in Africa; increasing by 4.5% against the previous year. In value terms, grain imports amounted to $15B (IndexBox estimates).

Imports by Country

In 2018, Egypt (22M tonnes), distantly followed by Algeria (14M tonnes), Morocco (6.8M tonnes), Nigeria (5M tonnes) and Tunisia (3.5M tonnes) were the key importers of grain, together achieving 70% of total imports. The following importers – Libya (3M tonnes), Sudan (2.9M tonnes), Kenya (2.4M tonnes), South Africa (2.2M tonnes) and Zimbabwe (1.2M tonnes) – together made up 16% of total imports.

From 2014 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Zimbabwe, while imports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest grain importing markets in Africa were Egypt ($4.1B), Algeria ($2.6B) and Morocco ($1.4B), with a combined 54% share of total imports. These countries were followed by Nigeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Libya, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which together accounted for a further 30%.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

plantain

Africa’s Plantain Market to Reach Over 30M Tonnes by 2025

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Africa – Plantains – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Consumption By Country in Africa

The countries with the highest volumes of plantain consumption in 2018 were Democratic Republic of the Congo (5.5M tonnes), Cameroon (4.8M tonnes) and Ghana (4.1M tonnes), together comprising 59% of total consumption.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of plantain consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Democratic Republic of the Congo, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

The countries with the highest levels of plantain per capita consumption in 2018 were Cameroon (197 kg per person), Ghana (141 kg per person) and Uganda (68 kg per person).

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of plantain per capita consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Democratic Republic of the Congo, while the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the per capita consumption figures.

Market Forecast 2019-2025

Driven by increasing demand for plantain in Africa, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next seven years. Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +2.9% for the seven-year period from 2018 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 30M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production in Africa

The plantain production stood at 25M tonnes in 2018, picking up by 3.6% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +3.0% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010 when production volume increased by 12% against the previous year. Over the period under review, plantain production attained its peak figure volume in 2018 and is likely to see steady growth in the near future. The general positive trend in terms of plantain output was largely conditioned by a conspicuous increase of the harvested area and a relatively flat trend pattern in yield figures.

Production By Country in Africa

The countries with the highest volumes of plantain production in 2018 were Democratic Republic of the Congo (5.5M tonnes), Cameroon (4.8M tonnes) and Ghana (4.1M tonnes), together comprising 59% of total production.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of plantain production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Democratic Republic of the Congo, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Harvested Area in Africa

The plantain harvested area amounted to 4.2M ha in 2018, growing by 3.7% against the previous year. The harvested area increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2010 with an increase of 14% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the harvested area dedicated to plantain production reached its peak figure at 4.3M ha in 2015; however, from 2016 to 2018, harvested area stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Yield in Africa

The average plantain yield amounted to 5.8 tonne per ha in 2018, approximately equating the previous year. In general, the plantain yield, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2016 when yield increased by 1.6% y-o-y. The level of plantain yield peaked at 5.8 tonne per ha in 2009; however, from 2010 to 2018, yield stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Exports in Africa

The exports totaled 99K tonnes in 2018, dropping by -5.8% against the previous year. Overall, plantain exports continue to indicate an abrupt decrease. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2013 when exports increased by 27% year-to-year. The volume of exports peaked at 181K tonnes in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, plantain exports amounted to $45M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Over the period under review, plantain exports continue to indicate a drastic descent. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2014 when exports increased by 13% year-to-year. The level of exports peaked at $85M in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2018, exports failed to regain their momentum.

Exports by Country

In 2018, Mozambique (38K tonnes) and Cote d’Ivoire (26K tonnes) were the main exporters of plantains in Africa, together making up 65% of total exports. It was distantly followed by Sudan (14K tonnes) and South Africa (12K tonnes), together committing a 27% share of total exports. The following exporters – Cameroon (3.2K tonnes) and Ghana (2.9K tonnes) – each accounted for a 6.1% share of total exports.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Cote d’Ivoire, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest plantain markets in Africa were Cote d’Ivoire ($12M), Sudan ($11M) and Mozambique ($11M), together accounting for 76% of total exports.

Sudan experienced the highest rates of growth with regard to exports, among the main exporting countries over the last eleven-year period, while the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the exports figures.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the plantain export price in Africa amounted to $454 per tonne, growing by 4.8% against the previous year. Overall, the plantain export price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015 an increase of 11% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the export prices for plantains attained their maximum at $485 per tonne in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2018, export prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Cameroon ($850 per tonne), while Ghana ($203 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Cameroon, while the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the export price figures.

Imports in Africa

The imports totaled 179K tonnes in 2018, picking up by 11% against the previous year. The total imports indicated a prominent expansion from 2007 to 2018: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +5.5% over the last eleven years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, plantain imports increased by +20.7% against 2014 indices. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2013 with an increase of 19% year-to-year. Over the period under review, plantain imports reached their peak figure in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, plantain imports totaled $51M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +1.8% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 with an increase of 11% y-o-y. Over the period under review, plantain imports reached their maximum in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the near future.

Imports by Country

South Africa was the key importing country with an import of about 119K tonnes, which resulted at 66% of total imports. Senegal (29K tonnes) held the second position in the ranking, followed by Mali (17K tonnes). All these countries together took approx. 26% share of total imports. Botswana (5.1K tonnes) and Algeria (3.1K tonnes) occupied a little share of total imports.

Imports into South Africa increased at an average annual rate of +11.5% from 2007 to 2018. At the same time, Senegal (+19.5%) and Mali (+6.1%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Senegal emerged as the fastest-growing importer in Africa, with a CAGR of +19.5% from 2007-2018. By contrast, Botswana (-2.5%) and Algeria (-16.8%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2007 to 2018, the share of South Africa, Senegal and Mali increased by +46%, +14% and +4.6% percentage points, while Algeria (-11.4 p.p.) saw their share reduced. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, South Africa ($27M) constitutes the largest market for imported plantains in Africa, comprising 53% of total plantain imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Senegal ($13M), with a 25% share of total imports. It was followed by Botswana, with a 6.4% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of value in South Africa totaled +9.2%. The remaining importing countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Senegal (+22.9% per year) and Botswana (-3.2% per year).

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the plantain import price in Africa amounted to $284 per tonne, coming down by -1.9% against the previous year. Overall, the plantain import price continues to indicate a perceptible setback. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2015 when the import price increased by 12% year-to-year. The level of import price peaked at $421 per tonne in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2018, import prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Algeria ($1,017 per tonne), while Mali ($64 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Algeria, while the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

maize

African Maize Market Reached $35.1B in 2018, Driven by Rising Demand in South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Africa – Maize – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the maize market in Africa amounted to $35.1B in 2018, growing by 1.8% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +2.6% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2014 when the market value increased by 17% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the maize market reached its peak figure level in 2018 and is likely to continue its growth in the near future.

Consumption By Country in Africa

The countries with the highest volumes of maize consumption in 2018 were South Africa (16M tonnes), Egypt (16M tonnes) and Nigeria (11M tonnes), with a combined 42% share of total consumption. Ethiopia, Tanzania, Algeria, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Uganda and Morocco lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 38%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of maize consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Mali, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

The countries with the highest levels of maize per capita consumption in 2018 were South Africa (283 kg per person), Zambia (219 kg per person) and Malawi (183 kg per person).

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of maize per capita consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Mali, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Market Forecast 2019-2025 in Africa

Driven by increasing demand for maize in Africa, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next seven years. Market performance is forecast to decelerate, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +2.5% for the seven-year period from 2018 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 123M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production in Africa

In 2018, the production of maize in Africa totaled 87M tonnes, going up by 6.2% against the previous year. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +5.2% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 with an increase of 19% year-to-year. The volume of maize production peaked in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the near future. The general positive trend in terms of maize output was largely conditioned by resilient growth of the harvested area and a modest increase in yield figures.

In value terms, maize production stood at $31.2B in 2018 estimated in export prices. The total output value increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 when production volume increased by 31% year-to-year. In that year, maize production attained its peak level of $31.9B. From 2015 to 2018, maize production growth remained at a somewhat lower figure.

Production By Country in Africa

The countries with the highest volumes of maize production in 2018 were South Africa (18M tonnes), Nigeria (11M tonnes) and Ethiopia (8.9M tonnes), with a combined 44% share of total production. Egypt, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Mali, Kenya, Cameroon and Democratic Republic of the Congo lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 40%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of maize production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Mali, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Harvested Area in Africa

In 2018, approx. 42M ha of maize were harvested in Africa; picking up by 4.3% against the previous year. The harvested area increased at an average annual rate of +3.7% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008 when harvested area increased by 9.3% y-o-y. The level of maize harvested area peaked in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

Yield in Africa

The average maize yield stood at 2.1 tonne per ha in 2018, increasing by 1.8% against the previous year. The yield figure increased at an average annual rate of +1.4% over the period from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 with an increase of 11% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the maize yield reached its peak figure level at 2.1 tonne per ha in 2010; however, from 2011 to 2018, yield remained at a lower figure.

Exports in Africa

In 2018, the amount of maize exported in Africa amounted to 2.9M tonnes, falling by -6% against the previous year. In general, maize exports, however, continue to indicate a strong expansion. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2009 with an increase of 81% against the previous year. The volume of exports peaked at 3.4M tonnes in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2018, exports stood at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, maize exports totaled $615M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Overall, maize exports, however, continue to indicate a mild expansion. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 when exports increased by 81% y-o-y. In that year, maize exports reached their peak of $1.1B. From 2012 to 2018, the growth of maize exports remained at a lower figure.

Exports by Country

In 2018, South Africa (2.2M tonnes) was the major exporter of maize, committing 76% of total exports. It was distantly followed by Uganda (336K tonnes), generating a 12% share of total exports. The following exporters – Zambia (113K tonnes), Tanzania (82K tonnes) and Burkina Faso (81K tonnes) – together made up 9.6% of total exports.

Exports from South Africa increased at an average annual rate of +11.0% from 2007 to 2018. At the same time, Tanzania (+20.0%), Burkina Faso (+11.9%) and Uganda (+10.2%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Tanzania emerged as the fastest-growing exporter in Africa, with a CAGR of +20.0% from 2007-2018. By contrast, Zambia (-4.9%) illustrated a downward trend over the same period. From 2007 to 2018, the share of South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Burkina Faso increased by +52%, +7.7%, +2.5% and +2% percentage points, while Zambia (-2.9 p.p.) saw their share reduced.

In value terms, South Africa ($452M) remains the largest maize supplier in Africa, comprising 73% of total maize exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Uganda ($70M), with a 11% share of total exports. It was followed by Zambia, with a 6.3% share.

In South Africa, maize exports increased at an average annual rate of +3.7% over the period from 2007-2018. The remaining exporting countries recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Uganda (+9.5% per year) and Zambia (-3.9% per year).

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the maize export price in Africa amounted to $214 per tonne, falling by -6.5% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the maize export price continues to indicate a drastic deduction. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2011 when the export price increased by 15% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the export prices for maize reached their peak figure at $360 per tonne in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2018, export prices remained at a lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major exporting countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Zambia ($345 per tonne), while Burkina Faso ($145 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Zambia, while the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the export price figures.

Imports in Africa

In 2018, the amount of maize imported in Africa amounted to 20M tonnes, growing by 2.7% against the previous year. The total imports indicated a prominent increase from 2007 to 2018: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +4.3% over the last eleven years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, maize imports increased by +18.1% against 2016 indices. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2014 when imports increased by 19% against the previous year. Over the period under review, maize imports reached their peak figure in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, maize imports totaled $3.6B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total imports indicated moderate growth from 2007 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +4.3% over the last eleven-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, maize imports decreased by -14.7% against 2014 indices. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010 when imports increased by 40% y-o-y. The level of imports peaked at $4.2B in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, imports remained at a lower figure.

Imports by Country

Egypt was the major importer of maize in Africa, with the volume of imports amounting to 9M tonnes, which was approx. 46% of total imports in 2018. Algeria (4.1M tonnes) held a 21% share (based on tonnes) of total imports, which put it in second place, followed by Morocco (12%) and Tunisia (5%). Libya (749K tonnes), Kenya (530K tonnes) and Senegal (381K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2007 to 2018, average annual rates of growth with regard to maize imports into Egypt stood at +6.6%. At the same time, Kenya (+16.3%), Senegal (+13.2%), Algeria (+5.5%), Tunisia (+4.3%), Libya (+3.4%) and Morocco (+1.8%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Kenya emerged as the fastest-growing importer in Africa, with a CAGR of +16.3% from 2007-2018. From 2007 to 2018, the share of Egypt, Algeria, Kenya, Morocco and Tunisia increased by +23%, +9.4%, +2.2%, +2% and +1.8% percentage points, while the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, Egypt ($1.6B) constitutes the largest market for imported maize in Africa, comprising 44% of total maize imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Algeria ($723M), with a 20% share of total imports. It was followed by Morocco, with a 11% share.

In Egypt, maize imports increased at an average annual rate of +4.7% over the period from 2007-2018. The remaining importing countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Algeria (+3.1% per year) and Morocco (-0.8% per year).

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the maize import price in Africa amounted to $181 per tonne, declining by -8.9% against the previous year. Overall, the maize import price continues to indicate a mild downturn. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008 an increase of 30% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the import prices for maize attained their peak figure at $280 per tonne in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2018, import prices remained at a lower figure.

Average prices varied somewhat amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, major importing countries recorded the following prices: in Kenya ($224 per tonne) and Senegal ($217 per tonne), while Tunisia ($160 per tonne) and Libya ($164 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Kenya, while the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

specialty palm oil market

Africa’s Palm Oil Market – Foreign Suppliers Benefit From Resilient Market Growth

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘Africa – Palm Oil – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The palm oil market size in Africa is estimated at $8.2B in 2018, an increase of 3.7% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

The total market indicated a resilient expansion from 2007 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +4.6% over the last eleven years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, palm oil consumption increased by +9.3% against 2016 indices. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 when the market value increased by 24% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the palm oil market attained its peak figure level at $9.9B in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, consumption stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Consumption By Country in Africa

The countries with the highest volumes of palm oil consumption in 2018 were Nigeria (1.2M tonnes), Egypt (959K tonnes) and Kenya (705K tonnes), with a combined 31% share of total consumption. These countries were followed by Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Mozambique, Uganda, Togo and Cameroon, which together accounted for a further 42%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of palm oil consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Djibouti, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest palm oil markets in Africa were Nigeria ($861M), Egypt ($626M) and Tanzania ($559M), with a combined 25% share of the total market. Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, Djibouti, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of the Congo lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 37%.

In 2018, the highest levels of palm oil per capita consumption was registered in Djibouti (431 kg per person), followed by Togo (40 kg per person), Ghana (18 kg per person) and Kenya (14 kg per person), while the world average per capita consumption of palm oil was estimated at 7.09 kg per person.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of the palm oil per capita consumption in Djibouti stood at +17.6%. The remaining consuming countries recorded the following average annual rates of per capita consumption growth: Togo (+6.9% per year) and Ghana (+3.6% per year).

Market Forecast 2019-2025 in Africa

Driven by increasing demand for palm oil in Africa, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next seven-year period. Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +3.9% for the seven-year period from 2018 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 12M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production in Africa

The palm oil production amounted to 2.4M tonnes in 2018, approximately equating the previous year. Overall, palm oil production, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2011 when production volume increased by 3.7% y-o-y. The volume of palm oil production peaked at 2.5M tonnes in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, production remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, palm oil production stood at $2.1B in 2018 estimated in export prices. Over the period under review, palm oil production, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2011 when production volume increased by 9.7% year-to-year. In that year, palm oil production reached its peak level of $2.8B. From 2012 to 2018, palm oil production growth remained at a lower figure.

Production By Country in Africa

The countries with the highest volumes of palm oil production in 2018 were Nigeria (739K tonnes), Cote d’Ivoire (426K tonnes) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (410K tonnes), together accounting for 65% of total production.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of palm oil production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Democratic Republic of the Congo, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Exports in Africa

In 2018, approx. 462K tonnes of palm oil were exported in Africa; picking up by 7.6% against the previous year. Over the period under review, palm oil exports continue to indicate a prominent expansion. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2014 with an increase of 39% against the previous year. Over the period under review, palm oil exports attained their maximum in 2018 and are likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, palm oil exports totaled $355M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total exports indicated a strong expansion from 2007 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +6.0% over the last eleven years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, palm oil exports increased by +29.9% against 2016 indices. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 with an increase of 33% y-o-y. Over the period under review, palm oil exports attained their peak figure in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the near future.

Exports by Country

In 2018, Cote d’Ivoire (200K tonnes) was the major exporter of palm oil, making up 43% of total exports. It was distantly followed by Ghana (80K tonnes), Kenya (59K tonnes) and Seychelles (45K tonnes), together creating a 40% share of total exports. South Africa (15K tonnes), Senegal (13K tonnes), Togo (9.5K tonnes) and Liberia (8.9K tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

Exports from Cote d’Ivoire increased at an average annual rate of +7.6% from 2007 to 2018. At the same time, Liberia (+31.6%), Ghana (+23.8%), Senegal (+21.7%), Seychelles (+19.8%), Togo (+13.3%), Kenya (+4.9%) and South Africa (+4.2%) displayed positive paces of growth. Moreover, Liberia emerged as the fastest-growing exporter in Africa, with a CAGR of +31.6% from 2007-2018. While the share of Cote d’Ivoire (+24 p.p.), Ghana (+16 p.p.), Seychelles (+8.3 p.p.), Kenya (+5.2 p.p.), Senegal (+2.4 p.p.), Liberia (+1.8 p.p.) and Togo (+1.5 p.p.) increased significantly, the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In value terms, the largest palm oil markets in Africa were Cote d’Ivoire ($133M), Ghana ($73M) and Kenya ($46M), together accounting for 71% of total exports. Seychelles, South Africa, Senegal, Togo and Liberia lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 22%.

Among the main exporting countries, Liberia recorded the highest rates of growth with regard to exports, over the last eleven-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the palm oil export price in Africa amounted to $769 per tonne, jumping by 2.1% against the previous year. Overall, the palm oil export price, however, continues to indicate a slight contraction. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2008 when the export price increased by 20% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the export prices for palm oil attained their peak figure at $1,084 per tonne in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2018, export prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was South Africa ($1,021 per tonne), while Cote d’Ivoire ($665 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by South Africa, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in Africa

In 2018, the palm oil imports in Africa stood at 7.1M tonnes, surging by 5.1% against the previous year. Over the period under review, palm oil imports continue to indicate a remarkable expansion. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 with an increase of 21% against the previous year. The volume of imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to see steady growth in the near future.

In value terms, palm oil imports totaled $4.8B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total imports indicated a buoyant expansion from 2007 to 2018: its value increased at an average annual rate of +7.2% over the last eleven-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, palm oil imports increased by +7.9% against 2016 indices. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 when imports increased by 33% against the previous year. Over the period under review, palm oil imports attained their maximum at $5.8B in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, imports stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Imports by Country

Egypt (968K tonnes), Kenya (764K tonnes), Tanzania (648K tonnes), Ghana (481K tonnes), South Africa (473K tonnes), Nigeria (425K tonnes), Djibouti (419K tonnes), Uganda (343K tonnes), Mozambique (342K tonnes) and Togo (320K tonnes) represented roughly 73% of total imports of palm oil in 2018. Algeria (198K tonnes) and Angola (178K tonnes) held a relatively small share of total imports.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Nigeria, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest palm oil importing markets in Africa were Egypt ($592M), Kenya ($505M) and Tanzania ($455M), together comprising 32% of total imports. Ghana, Djibouti, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Mozambique, Togo, Angola and Algeria lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 45%.

Nigeria experienced the highest rates of growth with regard to imports, in terms of the main importing countries over the last eleven years, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the palm oil import price in Africa amounted to $673 per tonne, declining by -10.5% against the previous year. In general, the palm oil import price continues to indicate a mild decrease. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008 an increase of 29% y-o-y. The level of import price peaked at $1,038 per tonne in 2011; however, from 2012 to 2018, import prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Average prices varied somewhat amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, major importing countries recorded the following prices: in Angola ($806 per tonne) and Djibouti ($746 per tonne), while Egypt ($611 per tonne) and South Africa ($627 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Mozambique, while the other leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

Mozambique

Mozambique Should Put Privinvest Boats into Operation

The next several months will be critical for Mozambique. A peace agreement signed in August between Frelimo and Renamo, its ruling and opposition parties, has set the stage for national elections on October 15. “Free and fair elections,” with results accepted by all, would bolster national reconciliation in this fragile country and would be a major step away from years of low-level conflict and acrimony. Successful elections would also build momentum for Mozambique to reach its economic potential.

One of the world’s poorest countries, Mozambique suffered from years of civil war beginning soon after its 1975 independence from Portugal. One million Mozambicans died. Earlier this year, Mozambique was hammered by two devastating cyclones. While there is hope for economic progress — the country enjoys abundant natural resources — Mozambicans will need Frelimo and Renamo to overcome their bloody past and work together, whichever party wins the election.

One area of potential cooperation is securing the country’s rich but vulnerable coastline.

Earlier this decade, the Frelimo government committed to invest some $2 billion into boats and related maritime equipment to police Mozambique’s rich fisheries, which are being illegally exploited by China and others. Another aim was to develop Mozambique’s own fishing and maritime industries, including through ship repair and building. Since then, global energy giants have committed tens of billions of dollars to developing the country’s large offshore natural gas fields. This development makes securing its coastal region all the more important for Mozambique.

Unfortunately, this effort fell apart. The international shipbuilder Privinvest, supplier to some 40 navies, delivered over 60 boats, equipment and support systems. Yet these assets remain mostly unused. Almost two dozen former Mozambican government officials, including the then-president’s son, have been charged with corruption that sunk this project. Sadly, this isn’t unusual. Transparency International labels Mozambique’s corruption as “endemic,” having cost the country nearly $5 billion between 2002 and 2014.

Without these boats in use — many are literally rusting in dock — Mozambique is doing little to protect its coast against continued illegal fishing and other harmful activities. No local fishing industry is being built. The is a major lost opportunity. Despite having “great growth potential,” it should be no surprise that fisheries in Mozambique are an “under-performing sector,” according to the World Bank. The bank also has identified “strengthening governance and management” as a key goal in developing Mozambique’s coastal economy.

The new Mozambique government that takes power after the elections should make putting these boats into the water a priority. They are simply too valuable a resource to be wasted.  Overcoming this scandal and making strides to protect and develop the country’s ocean wealth for the benefit of all Mozambicans would send a powerful signal that the country is on the right track. It would also be a tangible example that Mozambique is overcoming its devastating legacy of corruption, which would help attract badly needed foreign investment.

Effectively deploying these maritime assets would require Frelimo and Renamo to shift from the campaign and to work for the common good. The new government should figure out what went wrong but, more importantly, look ahead at what needs to go right to fix the problem. Private operators would probably be best to replace the defunct state-run companies set up to operate the boats; business consultants could help figure out the best way forward. International donors and others would likely want to help recover these fixed costs.

Too often, democracies, both young and more established, suffer from a “winner-take-all” mindset that stifles cooperation and progress. Mozambican politicians, with years of violent conflict, are particularly tested. Unless Frelimo and Renamo cooperate to solve problems, setting aside their hostility, democracy will sputter, and the country will backslide. In that case, coastal problems would only worsen.

Pope Francis just visited Mozambique. He urged “hope, peace, and reconciliation,” praising the peace deal and personal courage shown by Frelimo President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade. Both men face hard-liner opposition within their parties. Hopefully, this spirit of cooperation and reconciliation will grow in Mozambique.

The new Mozambique government will face many challenges. Expectations by Mozambicans run high, especially with the development of natural gas. Putting idle boats and other maritime assets to work to protect and responsibly develop the country’s natural wealth would be an excellent way to help meet these challenges.

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Tom Sheehy is a former staff director of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.