Lifting of EU Ban May Provide Little Relief for Ghanaian Vegetable Exporters


While the EU Delegation in Ghana has heralded the scheduled lifting of the EU ban on imports of specified vegetable from Ghana on 1st January 2018, the trade benefits of this measure could be undermined by the stricter SPS control requirements on False Coddling Moth scheduled to be introduced by the EU from 1st January 2018. This could potentially place a significant additional administrative burden on the competent authority to verify compliance with EU requirements, with any failure to satisfy stricter EU requirements leading to market closure. This is an issue not only for Ghana but 20 other ACP countries engaged in exporting capsicum and pimento to the EU.  How the situation evolves in regard to ACP exports of capsicum and pimento in 2018 will provide a concrete example of the kind of impact which stricter EU Plant Health Regulation requirements are likely to have on a range of ACP fresh plant exports to the EU. Read more “Lifting of EU Ban May Provide Little Relief for Ghanaian Vegetable Exporters”

Dutch onion exports hit further record highs with West African markets playing a  critical role


Dutch onion exports continue to grow with ACP markets, particularly in West Africa being major destination markets. Since 2010 the importance of ACP markets to extra-EU Dutch onion exports has increased from 57.6% to 62.5%, with ACP market increasing in importance whenever difficulties are faced on other third country markets. This suggest any disruption of Dutch-UK onion exports arising from a hard-Brexit could rebound in terms of increased Dutch onion exports to ACP markets.  This in turn could adversely impact on local efforts across the ACP to expand local production of onions for national and regional markets Read more “Dutch onion exports hit further record highs with West African markets playing a  critical role”

USDA projects lower EU sugar price post production quota abolition


While USDA maintains EU sugar prices will need to fall if EU projections for growth in sugar exports in the post-quota period are to be met, this neglects the long experience EU sugar companies have of operating within a dual price system. It is possible substantial price premiums could be maintained on the EU sugar market, with this raising the issue of what regulatory initiatives are required to ensure traditional ACP suppliers share in any EU sugar market prices premiums. This would appear to require an extension of the EC’s current regulatory initiative on UTPs to ACP-EU sugar supply chains. This could potentially include regulatory requirements mirroring those which govern relations between domestic EU sugar beet growers and EU sugar beet millers. Read more “USDA projects lower EU sugar price post production quota abolition”

Report Paints Grim Picture for Prospects for Integrated Dairy Sector Development in Nigeria


The PwC report paints a pessimistic picture of the future prospects for the development of Nigerian milk production, given the serious constraints on the development of commercial milk production. There is a need to recognise that if multinational dairy companies are to effectively expand local milk sourcing this will need to be part of a sector wide approach involving all dairy industry players. If not all players are on board the differential use of milk powders in the production of dairy products will create competitive pressures which individual corporate efforts to expand local milk sourcing. This may well require the targeted use of trade policy tools to ensure discipline in support of any sector wide approach. However this could fall foul of EPA provisions prohibiting the use of such tools, should Nigeria sign on to the west Africa-EU EPA. Read more “Report Paints Grim Picture for Prospects for Integrated Dairy Sector Development in Nigeria”

EU poultry meat production rising despite avian flu outbreaks


Avian flu outbreaks have left overall EU poultry meat production largely unaffected. Although AI related restrictions reduced EU poultry meat export volumes in the first half of 2017, particularly to South Africa the largest single export destination (-63%). Export growth to Gabon, DRC and Ghana while extremely high (+120%;96% and 69% respectively) could not outweigh declines in EU exports to South Africa and Benin. Beyond the current AI crisis in the EU, expanding imports of whole birds from Ukraine, the impact of lower feed costs on EU production and possible Brexit related disruptions of the EU27-UK poultry trade, could all fuel a further expansion of EU exports to Africa. This could continue to inhibit efforts to promote local poultry sector development across Africa. Patterns of Belgium poultry meat exports suggest African governments need to pay closer attention to the origin of poultry meat imports nominally originating in particular EU member states. Read more “EU poultry meat production rising despite avian flu outbreaks”

Tereos Expanding its Presence the East African Sugar Sector


The planned growth in beet production by Tereos growers in France and the expansion of sugar production in the Czech Republic, alongside concerns over a possible Brexit related disruption of exports to the UK is seeing a major international export drive being launched. While South Asia the main target market, a sales office has also been opened in Nairobi. Tereos also has an expanding sugar cane production presence in East Africa. These developments could greatly increase competition for less competitive African sugar producers.

Expanded EU sugar exports could also contribute to stalling ant recovery in global sugar prices, which would be bad news for all African sugar exporters, given EU price developments will increasingly shadow world market price trends post sugar production quota abolition. Read more “Tereos Expanding its Presence the East African Sugar Sector”

Can the Post Cotonou Negotiations Provide the Context for a Rethink of the EU’s EPA Policy?


While the debate in East Africa on the EAC-EU EPA continues, with the UNECA warning of the dangers posed by the agreement to the structural economic transformation of East Africa, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the EPAs as ‘not right’ and possible in need of re-negotiation. A key issue will be laying the basis for EU trade agreements to contribute to the structural economic transformation of African agro-food sectors. This issue needs to be taken up in the post-Cotonou negotiations in order to:

  1. enshrine an EU commitment to the flexible and responsible implementation of EPA commitments in legally binding agreements;
  2. address the systematic bias against smallholder producers and small scale exporters which exists in design and implementation EU food safety and SPS control systems;
  3. extend the current EU regulatory initiative son UTPs to ACP-EU supply chains;
  4. revise the design of loan and investment support instruments to effectively meet the needs of local agricultural producers and agro-processing companies.

Read more “Can the Post Cotonou Negotiations Provide the Context for a Rethink of the EU’s EPA Policy?”

Dominican Republic and West Africa lead way in growth in ACP Mango exports to the EU


ACP exports of mangoes to the EU have grown strongly, particularly since 2007, with further growth in EU consumer demand likely. While tariffs are not an issue in the mango sector, new trade agreements do appear to have boosted investment and facilitated expanded exports in both ACP and non-ACP countries in response to rising EU demand. Brexit is unlikely to pose any challenges for direct ACP mango exports to the UK, but could lead to problems if the absence of a UK-EU27 agreement, spills over into reduced cooperation on SPS and freight forwarding arrangements.  This is important in the mango sector given the role the Netherlands plays in the re-export trade across the EU, including to the UK. This issue needs to be closely monitored by those ACP exporters which are most likely to be affected. Read more “Dominican Republic and West Africa lead way in growth in ACP Mango exports to the EU”

EU West Africa Dairy Sector Developments

European dairy companies continue to expand their operations in West Africa, with the region being seen as one with tremendous market potential.  While some companies are seeking to support local dairy sector development as part of their market expansion strategies, this is by no means universal. Since 2014 low global bulk dairy commodity prices have compounded the existing challenges faced in developing local milk-to-dairy supply chains in West Africa. This suggests a need for a sector wide approach to dairy sector development involving a commitment by all EU dairy companies to responsible patterns of trade and investment, designed to support the gradual growth in local milk-to-dairy supply chains. Read more “EU West Africa Dairy Sector Developments”

Surges in onion exports to Mauritania could close off longer term opportunities for Dutch exports


In a context where West Africa is the major destination for extra-EU Dutch onion exports, surges of Dutch onion exports to Mauritania are severely depressing local onion prices. This is in part linked to the closure of the Russian market. This could provoke trade restrictions in Mauritania in an effort to protect local onion producers. Any moves to restrict onion imports into Mauritania would need to be closely linked to targeted efforts to strengthen the functioning of local onion supply chains. Experience elsewhere in Africa, in a country facing similar environmental conditions, namely Namibia, could hold important lessons for Mauritanian onion sector trade policy. Read more “Surges in onion exports to Mauritania could close off longer term opportunities for Dutch exports”