AFRICA – Analysis of Africa’s grain market in terms of its size, trends and insights has shown that the sector is experiencing an upward surge in production, demand, consumption as well as import and export trade.

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

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 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 (US$407m) remains the largest grain supplier in Africa, comprising 56% of total grain exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Uganda (US$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).

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

The leading importer was Egypt (22M tonnes), distantly followed by Algeria (14M tonnes), Morocco (6.8M tonnes), Nigeria (5M tonnes) and Tunisia (3.5M tonnes), 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 (US$4.1 billion), Algeria (US$2.6 billion) and Morocco (US$1.4 billion), 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%.