Tanzania projects to export 84,000 tonnes of the locally produced rice to Kenya and 60,000 tonnes to Rwanda, according to forecast by a trade tracker.

According to the East Africa Cross-border Trade (EACT), the 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.

Amid trade disputes, Kenya is still Tanzania’s main market for rice followed closely by Rwanda.

Exports to Burundi will continue to be limited because of the depreciation of the country’s franc and low purchasing power as the economic situation worsens because of the effects of the disputed 2015 presidential election.

The EACT projects that rice exports from Uganda to South Sudan will also continue to be minimal due to conflict-related trade disruptions, South Sudan’s currency depreciation and low purchasing power due to subdued economic activity.

Re-exports of imported rice by Somalia to Kenya is expected to shoot up between April and September to coincide with the holy month of Ramadhan in May and the August Hajj celebrations.

In Kenya, rice prices have been increasing due to a decline in local production and expensive imports.