Production:

The sorghum production figure for MY13/14 is revised downward to 3.7 million metric tons, down roughly 430,000 metric tons from the official USDA estimate. This revision was based on post's tabulation of production statistics reported at the regional level. The MY14/15 estimate is expected to hold relatively steady at 4.0 million metric tons due to favorable weather conditions, while the MY15/16 is likewise forecast to stay unchanged at 4.0 million metric tons.

One of the major production constraints is parasitic and endemic weed, called striga. To address this challenge, the Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), under the Ministry of Agriculture, released two striga-resistant, dwarf varieties of sorghum. However, to date, there has been a low adoption rate because farmers prefer the longer-stalked varieties to use for fuel, feed, and construction.

Consumption:

Based on the previously-mentioned drawdown in production in MY13/14, consumption for this same period is reduced to 3.9 million metric tons, about 300,000 metric tons lower than the official USDA estimate. Similarly, the consumption estimate for MY14/15 is reduced 200,000 metric tons to 4.0 million metric tons. MY15/16 consumption is expected to hold relatively unchanged from the previous year at 4.1 million metric tons.

Sorghum is primarily consumed at the household level and is often used instead of the pricier teff for making traditional bread, injera. In addition to injera, sorghum is also used to make local beer, while lower quality sorghum is going for animal feed. Sorghum stalks are used for fuel, feed, and construction material.

Trade:

Almost one third of sorghum is produced in the Amhara region in the northwestern part of the country that shares a border with Sudan. Given the distance from this region to Addis Ababa, farmers informally prefer to export surplus sorghum to neighboring Sudan. The volume exported depends on availability in Ethiopia and Sudan. The same type of informal trade is also observed in eastern parts of the country from Somalia regional state. Exports for MY13/14 and MY14/15 are 70,000 metric tons and 75,000 metric tons, respectively.

Meantime, sorghum imports in MY14/15 are estimated at 57,000 metric tons; this sorghum was imported from the United States for food aid purposes. MY15/16 imports are forecast at 50,000 metric tons.

Stocks:

Ending stocks for MY13/14 are trimmed back from the official USDA estimate to 200,000 metric tons. For MY14/15, stocks are brought down slightly to 173,000 metric tons and are expected to remain largely unchanged in MY15/16.

Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics

Sorghum

2013/2014

2014/2015

2015/2016

Market Begin Year

Oct 2013

Oct 2014

Oct 2015

Ethiopia

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

Area Harvested

1,818

1,785

1,800

1,810

0

1,820

Beginning Stocks

439

439

378

200

0

173

Production

4,114

3,680

4,000

3,966

0

4,032

MY Imports

100

50

50

57

0

50

TY Imports

100

50

50

60

0

60

TY Imp. from U.S.

5

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

4,653

4,169

4,428

4,223

0

4,255

MY Exports

75

70

75

75

0

0

TY Exports

75

70

75

75

0

0

Feed and Residual

200

223

200

230

0

235

FSI Consumption

4,000

3,676

4,000

3,745

0

3,850

Total Consumption

4,200

3,899

4,200

3,975

0

4,085

Ending Stocks

378

200

153

173

0

170

Total Distribution

4,653

4,169

4,428

4,223

0

4,255

1000 HA, 1000 MT, MT/HA