Commodity Insight Africa (CIAfrica) was established in 2006 when an unfulfilled need for up to date, reliable and relevant information on soft commodities was identified in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). Since then a vast network of contacts has been established in countries in the region providing up to date relevant information to make it possible to deliver a consistent and trustworthy information service in this niche market.
We have a dynamic enthusiastic team of three employees. Two are involved on the research side and the third covers finance, administration and manage our database.
The agricultural sector plays a dominant role in the economies’ of most, if not all, Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. Despite its importance, the sector is mostly fragmented in most countries and dominated by small holder farmers. This makes production erratic mainly as a result of inadequate inputs, poor farming methods, poor handling and insufficient storage facilities. Add unpredictable weather patterns, politics and poor logistics to this mix and it becomes a complex market which is challenging to analyse.
Consumption patterns in most cases are a function of availability and affordability. When prices increase, consumers normally consume less and substitute with other more affordable products, if available, or just eat less. It is important to grasp these consumption patterns as it could have a material impact on demand.
Politics do play an important role in the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) food industry through import/export bans’, import levies, purchasing for strategic reserves, etc. It is especially important to monitor the staple food market (white maize in most central and east African countries) in the run up to an election as the reigning governments of some countries tend to get involved for obvious reasons.
During the last 20 months we have added hard commodities to our Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) coverage. Coverage thus far includes South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, DRC and Mozambique. Commodities covered are copper, iron ore, coal, manganese and chrome.