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East Africa experiences some trade tensions as trade between Tanzania and Kenya dip

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Kenya’s imports from Tanzania have decreased at the fastest rate in seven years, during which time fresh trade disputes caused Nairobi to avoid Dar es Salaam and purchase more goods from as far away as Egypt. In response to limits on cereal exports to Kenya, according to a report by the Tanzanian news outlet The Citizen, expenditure on products trucked from Tanzania in the six months leading up to June fell by approximately a third.

 

During the review period, Tanzania implemented new limits on grain trade with its neighbors in the East African Community bloc, laws that significantly curtailed the entry of maize into Kenya.

 

According to information gathered by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the value of Kenya’s goods imports from Tanzania fell 31.12% on-year to Sh18.68 billion between January and June. The decrease was the quickest since 2016 from Sh27.12 billion, a record-high for the half-year period, in a comparable period the previous year.

 

At the height of the disputes between Nairobi and the government of former Tanzanian President John Magufuli (dead), imports for the first half of the year had dropped 36.99 percent to Sh6.06 billion.

 

Tanzania overcame South Africa to become the country’s second-largest source market as a result of the warming of trade ties between the two largest economies in the EAC bloc, which consists of seven nations, under the leadership of former Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Samia Suluhu.

 

Tanzania, however, has dropped from being Kenya’s second to fourth-largest source market in Africa as a result of the dramatic decline in the value of imports over the Namanga border, having been surpassed by Egypt and Uganda. According to CBK statistics obtained from the Kenya Revenue Authority, Uganda’s imports jumped by 10.57% to Sh18.99 billion during the review period while Egypt’s imports increased by 5.21% to Sh23.75 billion.

 

Since the first half of 2019, Kenyan traders have not spent more on items from Tanzania than from Uganda. More than 200 trucks from Kenya were delayed for days at the Namanga and Holili crossings when Tanzania issued new import regulations for maize, leading President William Ruto to step in.

 

The actions were a part of export limits that Dar es Salaam began imposing last year to maintain food security in a trade bloc that consistently has a maize shortfall, a staple.

 

For the aim of obtaining permits to export maize and other commodities as well as tax clearance certificates, the new regulations obliged traders to establish and register offices in Dar es Salaam. The EAC Common Market Protocol, which permits the free movement of commodities, services, capital, and labor within the bloc, was seen as being in conflict with the measures.

 

“Fight exploitation that farmers have experienced for years by middlemen and dishonest traders who have been purchasing crops to farmers at low prices.” Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Investment, Industry and Trade Exaud Kigahe, stated.

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Naira surges strong against Dollar, hits N750.15 in Forex rally

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In a robust display, Nigeria’s currency, the Naira, surged ahead against the US Dollar at the foreign exchange market on Monday, maintaining its upward trajectory.

Official data from FMDQ revealed a noteworthy appreciation as the Naira strengthened to N750.15 against the Dollar at the close of Monday’s trading, marking an impressive gain of N40.75 compared to Friday’s exchange rate of N791.25/$1.

Simultaneously, the parallel market experienced a surge, with rates climbing to N1,130/$1 on Monday from the previous N1,140 on Friday.

Dayyabu Mistila, a Bureau De Change operator in Wuse Zone 4 Abuja, verified the uptick, confirming sales at N1,130 and purchases at N1,140 on Friday.

This surge follows a remarkable N31.23 gain recorded on Wednesday, defying October’s inflation hike in Nigeria, as reported by DAILY POST.

As the Naira continues its winning streak, all eyes turn to the upcoming economic roadmap presentation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, at the annual Bankers’ Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria on Friday, 25th November, 2023.

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Rice prices soar by 37% as Nigeria grapples with growing supply gap

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Rice prices soar by 37% as Nigeria grapples with growing supply gap

A substantial 37% surge in the market cost of rice has left the staple food in short supply, intensifying concerns over the widening annual supply gap. The AFEX Wet Season Crop Production Report for 2023 reveals that the availability drop has resulted in a staggering two million metric tonnes increase in the supply deficit each year.

The report states, “Rice consumption in Nigeria has been steadily increasing, nearly matching the annual population growth projection of 2.6 per cent at two per cent. This has led to a supply gap of about 2 million metric tonnes annually.”

Nigeria, once Africa’s top rice producer in 2021, with an output of 8.3 million metric tons, now faces challenges due to surging consumption rates. Despite potential net rice export capabilities, the country has spent over $15 billion in the past decade to meet its escalating rice consumption.

The Rice Outlook report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts Nigeria’s importation of 2.1 million metric tons of rice in 2024, potentially making the nation the world’s leading rice buyer. This follows the recent decision by the Federal Government to lift the ban on rice importation.

While the ban was in place, imports plummeted by 98.4% between January and July 2022. The increase in rice prices is attributed to production setbacks caused by flooding and the repercussions of global market dynamics.

Factors contributing to the global rice price surge include India’s ban on rice exports, the world’s second-largest rice exporter, and potential production impact from El Nino in key regions. Rain-induced disruptions and quality variations during Vietnam’s summer-autumn harvest have further fueled the price hike. The report anticipates a 4% increase in rice production with an additional 32% rise in the price of paddy rice.

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Public schools empty, banks closed in Osun as NLC, TUC members protest

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Public schools empty, banks closed in Osun as NLC, TUC members protest

The nationwide strike declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has taken its toll in Osogbo, Osun State, with public school students sent home and banks opting to remain closed.

 

Observations by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) revealed a significant impact on public schools, where students were seen leaving various primary and secondary schools and heading home. At CAC Grammar School, Gbodofon, Osogbo, the school gate stood wide open, allowing students to exit, while teachers gathered under a tree for discussions.

 

In tandem with the strike’s influence, several banks in Osogbo chose not to open their doors to customers, with some displaying hesitation and a few engaging in business transactions. The state secretariat in Abere witnessed a notable decline in activity, as most offices appeared deserted, and only a limited number of workers were observed within the premises.

 

A confidential source from the secretariat acknowledged that the strike had yet to fully materialize, highlighting the absence of the usual barricades by members of the NLC and other unions. Security personnel were strategically stationed at the entrance of the secretariat and other key locations in Osogbo.

 

Modupeola Oyedele, the Osun State NLC Caretaker Chairperson, confirmed to NAN that the strike adheres to directives from the NLC and TUC headquarters. She emphasized that the primary instruction was for workers to abstain from work without engaging in street protests.

 

“We are not doing street protest with the strike. The instruction is for workers to abstain from work and we are complying.

 

Public schools have sent back their students in compliance with the strike.

 

Many send their students back this morning because the strike directive came late last night, so that is why students were turned back after getting to school.

 

We are ensuring that there is compliance as our officials are at the state secretariat to ensure workers do not resume in their offices,” Oyedele explained.

 

The strike directive, issued on Monday evening by the labour unions, was met with resistance from the government, which deemed it illegal.

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